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Tarik's three stars: Caps can't keep up with Canucks in 6-2 romp

Tarik's three stars: Caps can't keep up with Canucks in 6-2 romp

The Capitals suffered a setback before the game even started—and things went downhill from there.

With star center Nicklas Backstrom unable to suit up due to illness, Washington surrendered three goals in the first period en route to an ugly 6-2 loss to the Canucks in Vancouver. The Caps also lost Brett Connolly (upper body) to injury as they suffered their fourth defeat in the past five games.

My three stars of the game:

1 – Sven Baertschi, Canucks

If you haven’t seen Baertschi’s assist on Bo Horvat’s goal that staked the Canucks to a 2-0 lead late in the first period, you will...a lot. Baertschi was at the side of Washington’s net—and in the process of getting decked by defenseman John Carlson—when the winger passed the puck between his legs and right onto the stick of Horvat. Baertschi added two goals to his score line, both on the power play.

2 – Evgeny Kuznetsov, Capitals

You had to squint really hard to find a positive for the Caps. But if there was one, it was Kuznetsov’s second period strike. Scored on a rebound, it was Kuzy’s first tally of the season. It also moved him into the team lead in points (13) over Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin (12).

3 – Chandler Stephenson, Capitals

Promoted from minor league Hershey to serve as an extra on the road trip, Stephenson got the call when Backstrom was unable to answer the bell. And although the game result was a forgettable one, Stephenson enjoyed an unforgettable moment in the closing minutes of a lopsided loss: he scored his first NHL goal, sneaking a short side shot past goalie Anders Nilsson. Rookie defenseman Madison Bowey was credited with the secondary assist, his first NHL point.

Do you agree? Give us your thoughts in the comments.

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Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres

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

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

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

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

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals (34-20-7) take on the Sabres (18-32-11) Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Capital One Arena.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME ON?

The Capitals-Sabres 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. Sabres
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-SABRES GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Sabres 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
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Michal Kempny - Brooks Orpik

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals-Panthers 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.

CAPITALS-SABRES 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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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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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.