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Alex Ovechkin excited to join club of 'legendary' Russian forwards

Alex Ovechkin excited to join club of 'legendary' Russian forwards

Alex Ovechkin doesn’t need any extra incentive when facing Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rival Penguins.

But he’ll have some on Wednesday night when the Capitals face the Penguins, anyway.

With one more point, Ovechkin will join the 1,000 point club. He’ll also become just the fourth Russian player to achieve the feat, joining Sergei Fedorov, Alexander Mogilny and Alexei Kovalev.

“It’s small but it’s [a] very legendary club,” Ovechkin said after the morning skate. “I get lucky to play with Fedorov for a couple years [in Washington] and I know him as a person. It’ll be nice to be with him, in the same company.”

RELATED: OVECHKIN GREETS FAN WHO TRAVELED OVER 4,000 MILES TO MEET HIM

Ovechkin added that he feels fortunate to get the opportunity to add a comma to his career point total at Verizon Center, the building where his NHL journey began 12 years ago.

“It’s a real big number,” he said. “Obviously it’s nice to get [the chance] at home, in front of fans, my family. It’s going to be a big moment.”

Ovechkin also gave a nod to his friends and family in Russia—even the ones who typically root for Malkin and the Penguins.

“All my friends texted me and said they are going to watch the game back at home,” Ovechkin said.

“I have friends who are cheering for Penguins and they [are] going to be cheering for me right now. It’s going to be a great day for fans and for us. It’s going to be a fun night to play.”

The 31-year-old did, however, downplay the significance of getting the chance against his team’s biggest rival, which, by the way, is just as hot as the Caps right now, having won five games in a row and 13 of 16 (13-1-2).

“It doesn’t matter which team we’re going to play when get those kinds of milestones,” Ovi said. “I just want to get it and move forward.”

On Monday night, Ovechkin told reporters in Montreal “it means I’m getting older” after a three-point night landed him on the doorstep of No. 1,000. On Wednesday, he set the record straight regarding how he’s actually feeling.

“I don’t feel old,” he said with a grin. “I just said, when you get a 1,000 points it [means] you’ve been in the league a long time. I’m still young.”

RELATED: ARE PENGUINS ABOVE CAPITALS IN LATEST NHL POWER RANKINGS?

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Vrana returns and other morning notes ahead of Saturday's game against the Wild

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Vrana returns and other morning notes ahead of Saturday's game against the Wild

Coming off a poor two-game road trip, Capitals Coach Barry Trotz elected to keep his lineup mostly familiar with Bruce Boudreau and a hot Wild team coming to town.

Here’s how they’re expected to line up tonight on F Street:

Forwards
Stephenson – Backstrom – Oshie
Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Smith-Pelly
Vrana – Eller – Wilson
Connolly – Beagle – Chiasson
Extra: Walker

Defense
Orpik – Carlson
Orlov – Niskanen
Chorney – Bowey
Extra: Ness

RELATED: HOW TO WATCH CAPS-WILD

Now for some notes, quotes and observations from the morning skate:

  • Braden Holtby (10-4-0/2.68 gaa/.918 Sv%) is scheduled to return to the net for Washington. It’s likely Devan Dubnyk will get the nod for Minnesota, which has won four games in row. Dubnyk (8-6-1/2.28 gaa/.922 Sv%) earned shutouts in three of those games.
  • After getting smoked 6-3 and 6-2 in Nashville and Colorado, respectively, the Caps are looking to get things back on track at home, where they’ll play the next four games in a row and nine of the next 10. The good news? T.J. Oshie and Co. have won their last four games on home ice after a 1-3 start there.
  • The only lineup change for the Caps is Jakub Vrana returning after sitting out Thursday as a healthy scratch. Vrana has two points—both goals—in his last 13 games...and one was scored into an empty net.
  • Trotz was pretty direct when asked where his team needs to improve after a couple of ugly losses on the road. “We were executing, playing pretty solid and in a groove, if you will,” Trotz said of the Caps winning five of six games to start the month. “But it’s gone off the rails a little bit here in the last two games. We’re the only ones that can get it back. …We’ve had too many passengers. Everything starts with our best players. Tonight, we’re going to need our best players to be the best players because everyone else will follow.”
  • Christian Djoos, who suffered an upper-body injury in Nashville and missed the Colorado game, did not skate Saturday. “I don’t know exactly when he’s going to skate yet,” Trotz said. “He’s still day-to-day with the trainers. Once they tell me he can skate, he’ll be out there.”
  • Tyler Graovac, in Hershey on a long-term conditioning stint, figures to be back soon. He’s got a goal and an assist in two games with the Bears. Although the stint is set to end this weekend, Trotz said he plans to talk to Graovac and that his stay in Hershey could be extended to a fourth or fifth game with the player’s permission. “I’ve set it up with him and I have good communication with him,” Trotz said. “[So] if he needs a fourth or a fifth game, we’ll talk and we’ll decide. …There’s a possibility that he could return as soon as Monday or as late as next Friday.” 

 

MORE CAPITALS: CAPS' FIRST QUARTER REPORT CARD

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Game 21: Capitals vs. Wild Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 21: Capitals vs. Wild Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Minnesota Wild

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

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

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

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

 You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-WILD GAME?

The Capitals (10-9-1) take on the Wild (9-7-2) Saturday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Washington.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-WILD GAME ON?

The Capitals-Wild game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:30 p.m. followed by Capitals GameTime at 7:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington following the game for Caps Extra, 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 vs. Wild
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-WILD GAME?

The Capitals-Wild 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.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-WILD 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.