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The Caps had some thoughts on the Redskins' trade for Alex Smith

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USA TODAY Sports

The Caps had some thoughts on the Redskins' trade for Alex Smith

The big news in Washington sports is the change in quarterback for the Washington Redskins. A trade for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith on Tuesday spells the end of the tenure of Kirk Cousins as Washington’s starting quarterback.

While it may have nothing to do with hockey, a big trade involving a professional sports team in the same city still caught the attention of the Caps.

“Obviously a really, really big deal, but in sports you're kind of a part of it,” T.J. Oshie said after Wednesday’s morning skate. “When things aren't going well or you're expected to get to a certain place and it doesn't happen, GMs tend to shake things up. Kind of what happened with me, obviously not as big of a deal as theirs for sure, not even close, but still it's shaking things up.”

RELATED: CHECK OUT THE LATEST UPDATES ON THE CAPS TOP PROSPECTS

As professional athletes, big trades tend to resonate across sports. Professional sports is a world few people know, but the Caps players can certainly relate to being suddenly uprooted from a city to become the hero somewhere else or to being unceremoniously cast aside for a newcomer.

It may not be hockey, but the trade had plenty of people talking in the locker room on Wednesday.

“It was something we were talking about,” Oshie said. “I think you pay attention to what the other local teams are doing and that's not just like a local thing, that's going to be talked about on all the networks. Pretty big deal and kind of fun having a discussion in here about what guys think, good or bad.”

While most were stunned by the trade, the mood was very different among the Capitals.

“I'm not surprised,” Barry Trotz said. “I'm not surprised because of the fact you didn't see a long-term commitment from an organization. If you don't see the long-term commitment, I think the writing's on the wall.”

“It kind of seemed like for whatever reason I thought he probably felt like he was underappreciated here for what he did,” Brooks Orpik said. “I always thought he handled himself with class. With what he had to work around him, I thought he always did really well. Sometimes you don't appreciate stuff until you lose it.”

MORE CAPITALS: KUZY AVOIDED INJURY BECAUSE OF THE TRAINER'S 'MAGICAL HANDS'

As for Smith, he already has a few fans among the Caps.

“I grew up a 49ers fan so I actually really like Alex Smith when they took him and they moved on from him,” he said. “I think he's a lot kind of the same mold as Cousins where he's not the flashiest guy, but he's really efficient and, same thing, he's probably underappreciated.”

Said Oshie, “It's going to be nice having Alex in town.”

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Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Lightning will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Lightning game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

The Capitals (34-18-7) take on the Lightning (39-17-3) Tuesday, February 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Washington.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME ON?

The Capitals-Lightning game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Lightning
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Lightning game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Taylor Chorney

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

The Capitals-Lightning game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-LIGHTNING OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

You may think this was an ugly four-game road trip for the Caps, but with a 3-2 win in Buffalo on Monday, Washington managed to earn five out of a possible eight points.

Here is why the Caps beat the Sabres and managed to save the road swing.

A missed high-stick (maybe) from Ovechkin

Ovechkin scored the first goal of the game in the second period as he deflected a high-shot from Christian Djoos down past goalie Chad Johnson. But did the deflection come on a high stick? The play was reviewed and the goal was ultimately upheld. According to the NHL, it was determined that "video review supported the Referee's call on the ice that Alex Ovechkin's stick was at or below the height of the crossbar when he tipped the puck into the Buffalo net."

NBC Sports Washington analyst Alan May broke the play down during the second intermission and made his case for why the NHL actually got the call wrong.

Was that a high stick? I don't know. As compelling an argument as May made, it still looks inconclusive which means the review made the right call. What surprises me is that the referee did not disallow the goal on the initial call.

Whether the review is truly inconclusive or flat out wrong, Washington was fortunate to walk away from this sequence with the goal.

MORE CAPITALS: BIZARRE SEQUENCE LEADS TO CAPS SCORING AND GETTING PENALIZED AT THE SAME TIME

A centimeter of ice

Hockey is a game of inches and it took less than an inch to put Washington up 2-0. When an Evgeny Kuznetsov shot hit off the boards and bounced back to the front of the net, it sparked a scrum next to goalie Chad Johnson. Eventually, John Carlson was able to get a swipe on the puck sending it trickling to the goal line, but Kyle Okposo was there waiting and appeared to kick it out to safety just before it crossed. A review triggered by the Situation Room, however, revealed that the puck had just barely managed to cross the goal line before Okposo got to it.

Here's the view the NHL released after the review:

Philipp Grubauer's third period

After dominating the first 40 minutes of the game and taking a 2-0 lead, Buffalo predictably made a late push in the third period with two goals to pull within one. Washington outshot the Sabres in the first and second periods, but Buffalo reversed that trend in a big way in the third as they outshot the Caps 17-6. Grubauer turned aside 15 of those shots and was impressive after barely being tested in the first two periods.

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