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AAA Keys to the Game: Capitals vs. Flyers

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AAA Keys to the Game: Capitals vs. Flyers

The Capitals (37-9-4, 78 points) will take on the Flyers (23-18-9, 55 points) today in a Super Bowl matinee beginning at noon (NBC). Here are our AAA Keys to the Game:

Where the Caps stand: The Caps are coming off Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Devils, maintaining their Metro Division lead over the Rangers at 15 points. The Caps remain the only team in the NHL without back-to-back losses in regulation.

Where the Flyers stand: The Flyers are coming off Saturday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Rangers and are 3-0-1 in their last four games, including a 4-3 overtime win at Verizon Center on Jan. 27, the final game before the All-Star break. With 55 points the Flyers are four behind the Devils for the eighth and final payoff spot and would need to climb the Carolina Hurricanes (56 points), Islanders (58 points) and Devils (59 points) to get there.

Who’s in goal for the Caps: Braden Holtby (32-5-3, 2.06, .928) will make his third straight start for the Caps. He is 24-1-3 in his last 28 decisions and is 2-0-0 in the second half of back-to-back games this season, allowing two goals in each of those starts. 

Who’s in goal for the Flyers: With Michael Neuvirth sidelined with a lower body injury, Steve Mason (12-12-7, 2.68, .916) will get the start today rather than give rookie callup Antony Stolarz his NHL debut against the NHL’s No. 1 team.  Mason has played the tail end of back-to-backs twice this season and is 2-0-0 with two goals against. Mason has not lost in regulation since Jan. 21 (2-0-1).

Super Caps: The Caps are 15-8-2 all-time and 15-7-1 at home on Super Bowl Sunday. The Caps are 3-0-0 on Sundays this season, outscoring opponents 19-6. 

Bura-cuda: Andre Burakovsky became the eighth player in Caps history to play his 100th game before his 21st birthday on Saturday. (Burakovsky turns 21 in Nashville on Tuesday). Burakovsky has a goal in five straight games and points in six srtraight (5 goals, 2 assists).  

Simmonds in: Despite a match penalty taken when he took a gloved swing at Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh on Saturday Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds (18-16-34) did not have a hearing and will not be suspended, allowing him to play today. Holtby said Simmonds might be the best player in the NHL at screening goalies and tipping in shots from the perimeter.

Ghost be here: Flyers rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has been a revelation this season. Sonce being called up in November the 22-year-old blue liner has nine goals and 17 assists in 32 games. He had a pair of assists against the Caps in the Flyers’ last visit to Verizon Center. Gostisbehere is on a seven-game scoring streak (2-8-10), three short of Mikael Renberg’s rookie record set in 1993-94. 

Power outage: The Caps are 0-for-15 on the power play in their last four games.

Here are projected lineups for both teams:

CAPITALS

Forward lines

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie

Andre Burakovsky - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams

Jason Chimera - Mike Richards - Tom Wilson

Paul Carey - Brooks Laich - Michael Latta

Defense pairs

John Carlson  - Nate Schmidt

Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen

John Carlson  - Nate Schmidt

Dmitri Orlov - Taylor Chorney

Goaltenders

Braden Holtby (starter) – Philipp Grubauer

FLYERS

Forward lines

Jake Voracek - Claude Giroux - Wayne Simmonds

Sam Gagner - Nick Cousins - Brayden Schenn

Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Ryan White

Michael Raffl - Scott Laughton - Matt Read

Defense pairs

Michael Del Zotto - Shayne Gostisbehere

Nick Schultz - Mark Streit

Evgeny Medvedev - Radko Gudas

Goaltenders

Steve Mason (starter) – Anthony Stolarz

Injuries 

Michal Neuvirth (lower-body injury, 1 week) 

Sean Couturier (lower-body injury, 4 weeks)

MORE CAPITALS: Holtby: 'The only stat I care about is wins'

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Game 61: Capitals at Panthers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 61: Capitals at Panthers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers

Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Fla.

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

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

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

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME?

The Capitals (34-19-7) take on the Panthers (26-25-6) Tuesday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Florida.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME ON?

The Capitals-Panthers game 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 Panthers
10:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:30 p.m. — Caps in 30

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

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Panthers 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-PANTHERS 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-PANTHERS 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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Team USA reclaims women's hockey gold from Canada in instant Olympic classic

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Team USA reclaims women's hockey gold from Canada in instant Olympic classic

GANGNEUNG, South Korea  -- The Americans' gold medal drought in women's hockey -- finally -- is over.

Even though they needed the first shootout in an Olympic women's final to do it.

Twenty long years after taking gold when the sport debuted in 1998 at Nagano, the United States snapped Canada's streak of four straight Olympic golds Thursday with a 3-2 shootout victory.

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scored in the sixth round of the shootout to start the Americans piling over the boards, throwing gloves in the air before huddling and hugging on the ice.

Gigi Marvin and Amanda Kessel also scored in the shootout. Monique Lamoureux-Morando tied it up with a breakaway with 6:21 left in regulation.

Hilary Knight also had a goal.

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Maddie Rooney made 29 saves for the win against their archrival. The 20-year-old goalie stopped the last two Canadian shooters in the shootout in Brianne Jenner and then Meghan Agosta on her second attempt.

It was sweet redemption for the 10 Americans who watched the Canadians snatch gold from their hands in 2014 at Sochi after tying it up with 54.6 seconds left in regulation and winning 3-2 in overtime.

Not only did the Americans snap the Canadians' stranglehold on Olympic gold, they ended a skid of five straight against their rival coming into this game, including a 2-1 loss to wrap up pool play a week ago.

Marie-Philip Poulin and Haley Irwin each scored goals for Canada. Agosta and Melodie Daoust scored in the shootout.

The Americans had been dominating in non-Olympic years, winning the last four and eight of the last 10 world championships, including a 3-2 overtime victory over Canada last spring.

Their domination on the world stage only made the lack of gold at the Olympics all the more noticeable, and Canada has been in their way since losing the inaugural gold in Nagano. Canada had won 24 straight Olympic games to go along with four consecutive gold medals. It's a streak of success in a women's team sport second only to the United States' basketball team's current streak of six straight gold.

This was the eighth time these North American rivals met in the Olympics and the fifth with gold on the line. None of the previous seven were decided by more than two goals.

U.S. coach Robb Stauber went with the 20-year-old Rooney in net for the biggest game of her career, but she was the goalie for each of the three games the Americans beat Canada last fall during their pre-Olympic exhibition tour, including Four Nations Cup title in November.

Canada had Shannon Szabados, 31, in goal for her third Olympic gold medal game, and her teammates made her job very easy by keeping the puck in front of Rooney for most of the first period by dictating play. The Americans couldn't use their speed or get organized even with two power plays until Sarah Nurse went in the box for interference late in the period.

Knight gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead with 25.4 seconds left in the first, redirecting a shot from Sidney Morin through Szabados' pads giving the Americans a jolt of energy.

That lasted only 2 minutes into the second when Irwin tipped a pass from Blayre Turnbull over Rooney's left leg for Canada. When Morin lost the puck, Melodie Daoust grabbed it and passed to Meghan Agosta who hit Poulin for the wrister into the left side of the net at 6:55 for a 2-1 lead.