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3 stars of the game: Jay Beagle steals a win with buzzer-beater goal

3 stars of the game: Jay Beagle steals a win with buzzer-beater goal

The Caps pulled off an improbable win in Carolina as Jay Beagle scored the go-ahead goal with less than two seconds remaining in the game. Washington stole the 4-3 win from the Hurricanes as they trailed 3-2 in the third, but scored twice in the final four minutes of the game.

Jeff Skinner put Carolina up in the third and it looked like the Hurricanes were going to down the Caps for a second time in as many nights. The Caps had other ideas.

Brett Connolly pounced on a turnover with a one-touch shot to beat Cam Ward to tie the game. Then Beagle scored the game-winner for the unbelievable finish.

Here are the three stars of the game.

1. Jay Beagle: With less than two seconds in the game, Beagle took a pass from Nicklas Backstrom and swept the puck past Ward for the improbable winner. The goal is as close to a buzzer beater as you will see in hockey and will be one of the highlights of the entire season.

2. Lars Eller:  Eller continued his hot streak with a first period goal in a mad scramble in front of the net. The goal was originally credited to John Carlson, but replay showed it went off of Eller's leg and in.

When you are on a hot streak, things just tend to go your way and Eller was in the right spot for the puck. He has now scored a goal in four straight games and has five goals in the last seven games. The third line was yet again the Caps' best and Eller also tallied three shots on goal for the night.

3. Jeff Skinner: Philipp Grubauer saved 86-straight even-strength shots before he was finally beaten by Skinner. Skinner unleashed a wrister in the third period that completely handcuffed the young netminder. Grubauer barely moved as the puck hit near-side off the post and into the net.

The goal looked like it would be the game-winner until the Capitals pulled off the improbable finish.

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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?


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.


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!