Tarik El-Bashir - Capitals Insider

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Blackhawks fans tossed after directing racist remarks at Washington's Smith-Pelly

Blackhawks fans tossed after directing racist remarks at Washington's Smith-Pelly

CHICAGO—Four fans were ejected from United Center on Saturday night for taunting Devante Smith-Pelly as the Capitals’ winger sat in the penalty box.

The fans, according to a team spokesman, yelled “basketball, basketball, basketball” at Smith-Pelly, who is black. Smith-Pelly was in the box for fighting in the third period of an eventual 7-1 loss to the Blackhawks.

The taunts were confirmed by an off-ice official, the spokesman said, and the fans were subsequently removed from the arena.

Smith-Pelly did not speak with reporters after the game but is expected to address the incident at the team’s next media availability. The team is scheduled to practice Sunday at KeyBank Center in Buffalo.

Caps Coach Barry Trotz did not hold back when asked about the fans' comments.

“There’s absolutely no place in the game of hockey or our country for racism,” Trotz said. “I think it’s disgusting, and there’s no place for it. …It just shows ignorance.”

The Blackhawks responded on Twitter with an apology to Smith-Pelly, who is one of roughly 30 black players in the NHL.

February is Hockey is For Everyone month in the NHL.

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Tarik's 3 stars: Wilson, Caps tame the Wild, 5-2

Tarik's 3 stars: Wilson, Caps tame the Wild, 5-2

Tom Wilson, Alex Ovechkin, Andre Burakovsky and Nicklas Backstrom scored, and backup goalie Philipp Grubauer turned in a strong performance as the Caps beat the Wild, 5-2, at Xcel Energy Center.

The win snapped Washington’s two-game losing streak and it marked the Caps' seventh straight win over the Wild. It also put an end to Minnesota’s league-best 13-game point streak on home ice.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Tom Wilson, Capitals

The first of Wilson’s two goals on the night was No. 8 this season for the big winger, establishing a new career best after he got stuck on seven the previous two seasons.

The goal gave Wilson 24 points on the season, also a career high. Wilson’s empty netter late in the third period provided the winning margin and gave him his second two-goal game of the season.  

2-Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

Ovechkin finished with a goal and three assists, giving him his third four-point game of the season. The goal was Ovi’s 34th, pushing him past last season’s disappointing total.

3-Philipp Grubauer, Capitals

Grubauer made 32 stops to improve to 5-7-3 on the season. His biggest stops actually came right off the bat, as he stopped Matt Dumba and Zach Parise, on a rebound from point-blank range, less than two minutes into the game to allow Washington to settle in.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Tarik's 3 stars: Caps can't overcome Jets' late surge

Tarik's 3 stars: Caps can't overcome Jets' late surge

The Caps blew a two-goal third period lead and wound up falling to the Jets, 4-3, on an overtime goal by Tyler Myers on Tuesday night.

The loss was Washington’s second straight in overtime. Overall, the Caps have dropped their last four games decided in the extra session.

RELATED: ALL THE CAPS' OLYMPIC CONNECTIONS

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Mark Scheifele, Jets

Scheifele scored twice, including a clutch goal with 14.4 seconds remaining to force the game to extra time. In overtime, he made a slick pass to Myers for the game-winner.

2-Braden Holtby, Capitals

Holtby made 40 stops, including a handful of key stops late as the Caps protected a one-goal lead late.

Early in the first period, Holtby played his 20,000th minute for Washington, becoming only the second goalie in franchise history to cross that threshold. (Olie Kolzig played 41,261 minutes for the Caps.)

MORE CAPITALS: SEE WHERE THE CAPS LAND IN THIS WEEK'S POWER RANKINGS

3-Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals

Backstrom went to the net, found a rebound and deftly deposited behind Connor Hellebuyck to tie the score, 1-1, late in the first period.

No. 19 is Washington’s hottest player right now, having scored four goals in the last 5 games.  

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.