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Tarik's 3 stars: Andre Burakovsky is back


Tarik's 3 stars: Andre Burakovsky is back

The Caps rallied late in the third period and Andre Burakovsky won it in overtime, scoring his second goal of the game 1:51 into the extra session to lift the Caps to a 4-3 win over the Stars.

The Caps have now won four straight games overall and two straight in Dallas—both in overtime. Braden Holtby, meantime, made 33 saves to earn his first victory in Dallas in his fifth try (1-4-0).

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Andre Burakovsky, Capitals

Just moments into the game, it was apparent that Burakovsky was going to have a night to remember. He had a brilliant scoring chance that Ben Bishop stopped. Then, just a little while later, he scored to put the Caps up 1-0. Racing into the Dallas end while leading a 3-on-2, Brett Connolly sent a slick cross-zone pass to Burakovsky, who made no mistake, ripping a shot past Bishop’s blocker.

Then in overtime, Burky finished off a wild game with a perfectly-placed wrister from in tight.

The 22-year-old winger now has three goals on the season...and his first career OT winner.

2-Dmitry Orlov, Capitals

The expression on Orlov’s face said it all: He couldn’t believe what he just did. And, quite frankly, neither could anyone else. On the rush in the second period, No. 9 broke John Klingberg’s ankles with a pond-hockey-esque between-the-legs move and then stuck the puck underneath the crossbar to knot the score, 2-2.

The goal was Orlov’s fourth of the season and second in five games.

3-Brett Connolly, Capitals

Connolly had the answer the Caps so badly needed just 41 seconds after Alexander Radulov’s go-ahead goal late in the third period. The play began with Burakovsky winning a battle down low and then feeding Connolly in the slot, where No. 10 snapped the puck between Bishop’s pads.

The goal was Connolly’s fifth in the last nine games…all since Coach Barry Trotz sat him out for ineffectiveness.

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

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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018 projection: Still too close to call in the Metropolitan Division


Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018 projection: Still too close to call in the Metropolitan Division

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are right around the corner and there is still a lot to be decided.

The Metropolitan Division is going to come right down to the wire as each team seemingly continues to win and put the pressure on the first place Capitals.

With just over two weeks remaining in the regular season, the playoff matchups for the first round of the NHL playoffs are still up in the air with only five points separating the top four teams in the Metro. Washington is in good position with a four-point cushion between themselves and the second place Pittsburgh Penguins. With both teams meeting on April 1, however, the Caps are still a long way off from clinching the division and earning home ice in the first round.


Metropolitan Division
1. Washington (93 points, 74 GP, 40 ROW)
W1. Philadelphia (88 points, 75 GP, 36 ROW)

2. Pittsburgh (89 points, 74 GP, 40 ROW)
3. Columbus (89 points, 75 GP, 36 ROW)

Atlantic Division
1. Tampa Bay (106 points, 74 GP, 45 ROW)
W2. New Jersey (82 points, 73 GP, 32 ROW)

2. Boston (100 points, 72 GP, 42 ROW)
3. Toronto (95 points, 74 GP, 37 ROW)

Still in the hunt:
Florida (81points, 72 GP, 34 ROW)


Washington has won only one out of four games against the Philadelphia Flyers this season. That's not an ideal first-round matchup for Washington, but there is still time for the Flyers to climb and overtake Columbus or Pittsburgh in the standings..

What seems unlikely to happen is for New Jersey or Florida to pass Philadelphia. While things remain close near the top of the standings, there seems to be a growing divide between the top-four teams in the Metropolitan Division and the two teams battling for the final remaining spot in the playoffs.

The Flyers may be in fourth place in the division, but they still boast a healthy six-point lead over the Devils who sit in the second wild card.

If we assume New Jersey and Florida will not be able to climb to any postseason position, but the second wild card, that makes the three most likely candidates to face Washington in the first round Pittsburgh, Columbus and Philadelphia.

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

Not much separated the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. A late 2-on-0 goal for Brett Connolly proved to be the difference.

Here's why the Caps ultimately walked away with the 1-0 win.

A first period goalie interference call

Andreas Athanasiou thought he had given the Red Wings a first period lead, but Barry Trotz challenged the call for goalie interference. The review showed that Tyler Bertuzzi clipped Philipp Grubauer in the head with an elbow right before the shot went in. Given how long it took the Caps to get going in this game, it is fair to say an early deficit would have been hard to overcome.


Killing off a full two-minute 5-on-3

Two man advantages are hard to kill. Killing off a full two-minutes at 5-on-3, that's a tall task. With the game still scoreless in the second period, T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller were both assessed penalties giving Detroit two-full minutes at 5-on-3. The Red Wings managed four shots on goal, but Washington was able to successfully kill off the penalty and keep the game scoreless.

Philipp Grubauer

There were few players who had strong efforts on Tuesday, but Grubauer was phenomenal. Even when the game felt sleepy in the first two periods, Detroit still managed 28 shots on goal, all of which were turned aside by the German netminder. When Washington finally took the lead in the third, the Red Wings woke up and began pushing the offense, but Grubauer was in the zone at that point and could not be beaten. His best save came in the third period when he stared down a breakaway from Athanasiou and extended the pad to deny the shot.