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Beagle sidelined for 'extended period of time'


Beagle sidelined for 'extended period of time'

Already without top-pair defensemen John Carlson and Brooks Orpik, the Capitals learned Wednesday night they will be without third-line center Jay Beagle for “an extended period of time” with an upper body injury that will require surgery, according to head coach Barry Trotz.

The Capitals also lost top-line center Nicklas Backstrom to an undisclosed injury in their 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres, but Trotz said Backstrom will travel with the team to Raleigh and is hoping to have him in the lineup Thursday night against the Carolina Hurricanes.

 Trotz said Michael Latta, who sat out Wednesday night’s game with an arm injury, will be back in the lineup and the team will bring center Zach Sill to Raleigh as well.

Trotz said he might also move Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky or Brooks Laich to the center positron while Beagle is sidelined.

“It’s huge,” Trotz said when asked about having forwards who have played center in their careers. “Our system demands that different people play low sometimes. It all pays off. Having guys that have played that position, it’s very helpful, there’s no question.”

Trotz said Carlson, who missed his second straight game with a lower body injury, will miss “a few games” with his injury and that the club will recall a defenseman from Hershey to bring with them to Raleigh.

The losses of Orpik, Carlson and now Beagle will test the Capitals’ organizational depth, which has proven to be strong during a nine-game win streak.

“We had a couple games we probably could have probably mailed in and we didn’t, we came up with victories,” Trotz said. “And tonight you saw some backbone when it was needed. There wasn’t any excuses. Let’s just find a way to win.

“I don’t doubt their resolve. They sort of blow things off and say, ‘Next man up.’”

With Beagle sidelined for a lengthy period, it will be interesting to see if the Capitals go outside the organization to fill his spot at third-line center.  

Mike Richards, a free agent currently working out with his former junior team in Kitchener, Ont., reportedly has drawn some interest from the San Jose Sharks. Richards won two Stanley Cups with Justin Williams in Los Angeles.

RELATED: Ovi's 494th ties game 2-2

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Michal Kempny excited to move from last place Chicago to first place Caps


Michal Kempny excited to move from last place Chicago to first place Caps

On Sunday, Michal Kempny was a defenseman struggling for a spot in the lineup for a team poised to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. On Monday, he became potentially an important piece on the roster of the first place Capitals.

The last few days have been quite the whirlwind for Kempny who tallied an assist for Chicago on Saturday in a 7-1 blowout against what is now his current team. While the Blackhawks may have gotten the better of Washington that night, Kempny is excited about the postseason opportunity that now lies in front of him.

"Nobody knows what's happening in Chicago, but I'm really happy and I'm really glad that I can be here," Kempny told reporters on Tuesday after his first skate with the team. "There is option of play a playoff and I'm very happy for it."


The 27-year-old Czech defenseman played only 31 games for the Blackhawks this season, but considering Washington's need to shore up its defense before the trade deadline and the team's willingness to give up a third-round pick to acquire him, it is likely he will have a much more significant role with the Caps.

"I thought that I [was] going to get more space on the ice and more ice time, but I didn't play more than half games," Kempny said of his decision to originally sign with Chicago. "But now I'm here and I'm really glad that I'm here. Washington is amazing city and great organization and I hope I will get a chance to access myself on the ice more than in Chicago."

Kempny will not play in Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but did say he expects to play Thursday when the team visits the Florida Panthers.

When he does get into the lineup, it is unclear just how big a role he will play initially or how the team foresees utilizing him going forward. He is a left-shot defenseman and did tell reporters he prefers to play on that side. It seems unlikely the team would acquire him just to put him on his offside.

As of now, however, everything regarding his role in Washington is up on the air.

"I need everything settle down a little bit," he said. "New teammates, new people around here."


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Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread


Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

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

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

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

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


The Capitals (34-18-7) take on the Lightning (39-17-3) Tuesday, February 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Washington.


The Capitals-Lightning 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. Lightning
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30


Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Lightning game:

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

Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Michal Kempney, Taylor Chorney


The Capitals-Lightning 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.


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.