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Naval Academy venue gives special meaning to Stadium Series game for American players

Naval Academy venue gives special meaning to Stadium Series game for American players

In terms of the standings, Saturday’s game matters just as much as any other.

Two points are on the line, no more, no less. But the setting of Saturday’s Stadium Series game certainly adds extra meaning for the Capitals’ American players.

“First service academy game, it's pretty special,” John Carlson said following Washington’s practice Friday.

“We were there I think four years ago and that was a cool experience. I've been there to Annapolis a handful of other times too. It's a pretty special place and just to see a football game for the first time there this year was pretty special too.”

For T.J. Oshie, this game will have added significance given his family’s ties to the Navy.


“Both my grandpas were on the USS St. Paul,” Oshie said. “They were buddies there and were reunited through my mom and dad.”

That incredible familial connection the Oshie’s have with the Navy will add a new chapter on Saturday in Annapolis as the Capitals take the ice at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

“It makes it special,” Oshie said. “Really, with the family history, with being an American, you really never can appreciate or give enough support to our military. I'm really looking forward to meeting some of the military there and hearing their stories.”


The pageantry of every outdoor game adds a special element to the event. As anyone who has gone to a sporting event at Navy's football stadium knows, that venue comes with its own pageantry, history and emotions.

Saturday’s game promises to be not just a celebration of hockey, but a celebration of the military. The choice of venue by itself makes this a more meaningful event than other stadiums would have.

“I think it's going to be an amazing venue for the game, I think probably the best one yet,” Carlson said. “In that sense, it's going to be special.”

RELATED: Caps have nothing but praise for their Stadium Series hosts

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

The Washington Capitals had not beaten the Dallas Stars at home since 2006, Alex Ovechkin's second season in the NHL. That streak ended on Tuesday in a 4-3 Caps win.

Here's how the Caps were finally able to down Dallas in Washington.

Oshie still hot

After going 19 straight games without a goal, T.J. Oshie has been red-hot of late with four goals in his last four games. He scored Washington’s first goal in what would become a three-goal period for the Caps as they battled back from a 1-0 deficit into a 3-3 tie through 40 minutes. Oshie also added an assist as he won a power play faceoff that John Carlson fed to Alex Ovechkin for the goal.


Ovechkin victimizing his favorite target

You knew Ovechkin would score given he was playing against one of his favorite targets. With his second period goal, Ovechkin now has 22 goals against Kari Lehtonen in his career, tied with Henrik Lundqvist for the most goals he has scored on any netminder. Lehtonen has not been in the Eastern Conference since the 2008-09 season. When he goes to sleep at night, Ovechkin is who he sees in his nightmares.

The Carlson-Klingberg duel

Carlson and John Klingberg entered Tuesday’s game each with 59 points, tied for the league lead in points among defensemen. Carlson downplayed the matchup both before and after the game, but it was clear that both players were playing at another level all game long. While both players tallied two points on the night, you have to give the win to Carlson as he had the most significant point, a game-winning goal in the third period.


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Tarik's 3 Stars: Ovechkin further cements his place in history

Tarik's 3 Stars: Ovechkin further cements his place in history

Alex Ovechkin further cemented his place in NHL history, John Carlson stayed hot and Braden Holtby was good when called upon as the Caps downed the Stars, 4-3, at Capital One Arena on Tuesday night.

The victory was Washington’s fifth in the past six games. It also marked the Caps’ first win over Dallas in D.C. since 2006.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

Ovechkin scored his 44th goal of the season and the 602nd of his career in the second period to give the Caps a short-lived 3-2 edge in the second period.

The goal put Ovi back atop the league as he seeks a seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. It also pushed him past Jari Karri and into sole possession of 19th place on the NHL’s all-time list. Ovechkin has now victimized Kari Lehtonen 22 times, which is tied for the most goals he’s scored against a single netminder. (Henrik Lundqvist has also given up 22 goals to No. 8). Ovi also had a couple of secondary helpers.

2-John Carlson, Capitals

Carlson scored the game-winner 4:59 with left to play, blasting a one-timer past Lehtonen to put the Caps ahead 4-3.

Carlson also notched an assist, which allowed him to stay even with Dallas’ John Klingberg. Klingberg had two assists. Both players ended the game with 61 points—tied for the most among all NHL defensemen.    

3-Alexander Radulov, Stars

From his first shift, it was apparent that Radulov was determined to leave his mark on the game. And he did just that, recording a goal, an assist and boarding minor that bloodied Caps defenseman Michal Kempny. Radulov’s goal—a redirection of a John Klingberg shot—was his 26th and it evened the score, 2-2, in the second period.

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