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NHL All-Star Game 2018: Holtby gets ASG invite but Carlson a notable snub

NHL All-Star Game 2018: Holtby gets ASG invite but Carlson a notable snub

Another Capital has been added to the roster for the All-Star Game, but it probably wasn't the one you were expecting.

Goalie Braden Holtby was selected to participate in the NHL All-Star Game as part of the Metropolitan Division team as announced on Wednesday. He will join teammates Alex Ovechkin and head coach Barry Trotz who were previously named to the All-Star Game as captain and coach respectively.

The big story here is not who was selected, but who was not. Noticeably absent from the Metropolitan Team is defenseman John Carlson.

Carlson saw his role on the team increased this season due to injuries to Matt Niskanen and two rookie defensemen in the lineup. He currently averages 26:17 of ice time per game, good for fourth in the NHL. His 34 points this season also ranks second among all defensemen behind only Dallas' John Klingberg.

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After scoring his fifth goal of the season in Tuesday's win over the Vancouver Canucks, Trotz gave an impassioned plea for his defenseman to make the team.

"He should be on it, absolutely," Trotz said. "In our situation with Matt Niskanen out, I think people really stepped up and John has. John has gotten better every year. He works with [associate coach] Todd Reirden and Toddd's done a really good job with him and the staff. I think he's taking that bigger role."

Those pleas evidently fell on deaf ears as Carlson was passed over in favor of Seth Jones, Noah Hanifin and Kris Letang.

This marks the third consecutive selection for Braden Holtby who has certainly established himself among the NHL's elite netminders. While Holtby's save percentage and GAA are down compared to previous years, he still ranks second in the NHL in wins with 24 behind only Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning. That is notable considering he ranks tied for 15th in games played and is playing behind a blue line that includes two rookie defensemen.

MORE CAPITALS: SMITH-PELLY WOULDN'T CALL HUTTON'S HIT DIRTY, BUT STILL FELT HE HAD TO FIGHT HIM

Here is the full Metropolitan Division Roster:

Head coach Barry Trotz

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin (captain), Washington Capitals
Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Josh Bailey, New York Islanders
John Tavares, New York Islanders
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

Defensemen
Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets
Noah Hanifin, Carolina Hurricanes
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins

Goalies
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals

Even without Carlson, the Caps will still be well represented with two players and the head coach. No other team in the Metro had more than two players.

The All-Star Game will take place in Tampa Bay on Jan. 28.

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Can Tom Wilson be an X-factor for Caps after finding redemption in Game 3?

Can Tom Wilson be an X-factor for Caps after finding redemption in Game 3?

When Mike Babcock essentially dismissed any concern over the impact Tom Wilson could have on a series, Wilson responded. In the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2017, the Caps' forward scored the overtime winner in Game 1 and saved the series in Game 3 with a sweep of the puck off the goal line followed by a goal of his own soon after.

If you dismissed Wilson after Game 1 and Game 2 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Barry Trotz believes you can expect a similar answer this year after how he played in Game 3.

"I think his game was really good and that will maybe give some trust and confidence in him going forward," Trotz said Wednesday on a conference call with the media.

Wilson's impact in the first round against Toronto was immediate. As a top-line winger this season, expectations for him were high heading into the playoffs. His start to the series, however, left a lot to be desired.

Through the first two games, Wilson did not record a single shot on goal. What's worse, he took a critical penalty in each game that allowed the Blue Jackets to tie the score on each resulting power play.

You can't compare Wilson's impact on the Caps to that of a player like Alex Ovechkin, but a top-line player has to have some sort of positive impact or, at the very least, not be a detriment to his team.

In Game 3, postseason Tom finally delivered.

Wilson recorded six shots on goal and scored Washington's first goal of the game, deflecting in a shot from Matt Niskanen.

"[Wilson's] taken a lot of criticism for his first two games and some of the penalties and the effect it's had on the game," Trotz said. "I think it's given him some confidence. He's a bright young man, he's a leader, he's an all-in guy."

The key now will be for Wilson to build on that confidence.

Columbus has a number of star players such as Artemi Panarin, Seth Jones and Sergei Bobrovsky. What they do not have, however, is the scoring depth to match the Caps. Getting key contributions from players like Wilson in addition to the top playmakers like Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov will make it very hard for the Blue Jackets to keep up.

"[Wilson] had a big effect last year in the first round," Trotz said. "I think he can have a big effect in this series, in this first round."

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Game 4 Capitals at Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 4 Capitals at Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

With a thrilling double-overtime victory in Game 3, the Capitals are right back in the series. Trailing the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1, the Caps will look to even up the series at 2-games apiece before returning to Washington for Game 5.

As the Caps take the ice for Game 4, you can be certain that Braden Holtby will be the man to lead the team in net. His stellar performance in Game 3 resolidified him as the team' starter and ended whatever goalie tandem there was between him and Philipp Grubauer.

What: Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, Round 1, Game 4

Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 4 will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 4 on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

The Capitals take on the Blue Jackets in Game 4 on Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Columbus. Columbus currently leads the series 2-1.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME ON?

Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 4 will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 7:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:30 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:30 p.m. — Capitals at Blue Jackets
10:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:30 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

Capitals-Blue Jackets Game 4, 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.

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

Here are the Caps' projected lines:

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

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos

Braden Holtby with Philipp Grubauer as backup.

Scratches: Travis Boyd, Andre Burakovsky (upper-body), Shane Gerisch, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS 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.

SEE THE CAPITALS VS. BLUE JACKETS FULL SERIES SCHEDULE HERE

CAPITALS SCHEDULE