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3 stars of the game: Caps can't get OT Win

3 stars of the game: Caps can't get OT Win

The Caps played a much better game on Sunday than the game previous, but the result was the same. Washington fell 2-1 in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers, their third straight loss since returning from the bye week.

Alex Ovechkin was strong on both ends of the ice, but it was not enough as Brian Elliott dominated in net and Travis Konecny ended the game just 27 seconds into overtime.

Washington now has only two points in three games since their return from the bye and face another lengthy break with the All-Star Game looming.

Here are the three stars from Sunday's game.

1. Alex Ovechkin: It was Ovechkin's defense and not his offense that first stood out on Sunday. A crafty little steal by Ovechkin at the top of the defensive zone sparked a 2-on-1 with him and Evgeny Kuznetsov and should have led to assist No. 500, but Kuznetsov shot the rebound right into goalie Brian Elliott rather than the open net. Ovechkin also had a diving backcheck to cut off a pass from Ivan Provorov on a 2-on-1 for Philadelphia.

Of course, there was the offense too. Ovechkin got Washington on the board in the second period with a blistering shot from the office for the power play goal.

2. Brian Elliott: Call the police because Elliott flat out robbed the Caps. In the first period, he kept Washington off the board with an outstanding save on a wide-open Ovechkin from the slot. He's generally not the guy teams want to leave open that close to the net.

Elliott added another dynamic save on Nicklas Backstrom late in the second when the Caps' center managed to get his stick on the puck in the slot.

3. Travis Konecny: It took Konecny just 27 seconds to win this game in overtime for the Flyers, despite all the momentum building on Washington's side at the end of the game. He carried the puck into the offensive zone, curled into the high slot and wristed a nice shot past Braden Holtby.

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.

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NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

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USA TODAY Sports

NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

The Hart Trophy is given to the player judged to be the most valuable to their team. With the Caps currently struggling in almost every aspect of the game, consider this: Just where would they be without Alex Ovechkin?

Washington ranks 10th in the NHL in goals per game with 3.05. Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 36. He has scored an incredible 19-percent of his team's goals. No one on the Caps is within 20 goals of the Caps' captain.

That's not a typo. Evgeny Kuznetsov ranks second on the team with 16 goals. No other team in the league has a larger separation between its top two scorers. In fact, only three teams have a difference that's in the double digits: Vancouver (11), San Jose (10) and New Jersey (10).

Ovechkin is almost singlehandedly propping up Washington as a top-ten offense. If you think about just where this offense would be without him, there's a pretty strong case to be made that Ovechkin is as valuable to his team this season as any other player in the league.

SEE THIS WEEK'S 2018 NHL AWARDS TRACKER HERE

Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:

John Carlson

In contention for: Norris

Carlson is fifth among all defensemen with 45 points, but his case goes beyond the numbers. With a blue line that has featured two rookies the majority of the season, an aging veteran in Brooks Orpik and that had to deal with an injury to Matt Niskanen, the Caps have asked a lot of Carlson this season and he has always been up to the task.

Alex Ovechkin

In contention for: Hart

Few players, if any, are as important to their team's offensive production and therefore its success than Ovechkin has been this season.

Check out who the top candidates are for the league's major individual awards in this week's 2018 NHL Awards Tracker!