January 24th, 2012 by

Bruins set to take on Ovechkin-less Capitals

(Getty Images) Zdeno Chara and company won't have to worry about Alexander Ovechkin tonight when the Bruins travel to Washington and take on the Capitals

Lost in the controversy that was Tim Thomas choosing not to join his Bruins teammates in yesterday’s meet and great at the White House with President Obama is the fact that the Bruins have a hockey game to play tonight, a pretty important one.

For the past week and a half the Black and Gold have been preaching how important it is for them to head into the All Star Break with momentum. After a tough overtime loss to the New York Rangers Saturday afternoon, the Bruins bounced back with a very ugly win in Philadelphia on Sunday.

For Tyler Seguin, it’s important his team plays a full 60 minutes and takes that momentum they’ve been talking about into the break.

“We weren’t too happy with the consistency of our game,” said Seguin after his game winning shootout goal against the Flyers. “Right now, I think there is a bit of a bittersweet taste in our mouths. We want to go into Washington, with one game left until All-Star break, and play a full sixty minutes.”

Tonight’s tilt in the nation’s capital will be the first of the season between two high powered teams; both clubs will be shorthanded tonight.

Andrew Ference sits out game number two of his three game suspension for his hit on Rangers defensemen Ryan McDonagh in Saturday’s loss. Here is Ference’s hit on McDonagh.

Nathan Horton will also miss tonight’s game after leaving Sunday’s win with a head injury. Horton has since been diagnosed with a mild concussion and is day-to-day.

The Capitals will be without their two leading goal scorers tonight. Nicklas Backstrom (13-29-42) will miss tonight’s game with a concussion, and Alex Ovechkin (20-19-39) serves his first of his three game suspension due to a hit on Penguins defensemen Zbynek Michalek. Once again here is the hit for those of you who have not seen it.

Top defensemen Mike Green is also out of action after having abdominal surgery.

It’s been an up and down season for the Capitals. Washington currently sits in the eighth and final playoff seed in the East, but yet are just one point behind the surprising Florida Panthers for the lead in the Southeast Division.

Regardless of what happens tonight with the Bruins, the B’s will lead the Northeast Division and possibly the entire Eastern Conference when the National Hockey League breaks for its annual All Star weekend.

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