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Caps looking to turn the page in Tampa


Caps looking to turn the page in Tampa

News, notes and quotes as the Caps return to action tonight in Tampa following a day off and a dinner cruise with players’ dads on Friday:

Outworked, outplayed: The Caps pulled no punches after their 4-1 loss on Thursday night against the Panthers, their worst since a 5-2 setback against the Rangers on Nov. 3.

“Bottom line is you win some and lose some and we deserved to lose that one,” Caps right wing Justin Williams said. “We weren’t good enough in a lot of aspects. We didn’t get a lot of second chances and as a result we didn’t score a lot of goals.”
The Caps have scored just one 5-on-5 goal in their last three games, with Alex Ovechkin’s power-play goal late in Thursday’s loss accounting for their only offense.

“They won more battles,” Williams said. “Nothing is more frustrating than going in (the offensive zone), going out and changing (lines). That’s how you get tired. We looked tired because we didn’t have a lot of time in the offensive zone and that’s the fun zone.”

The Caps were outshot 26-21 in the loss, including 16-8 midway through the contest.

RELATED Caps-Panthers game delayed with no paramedics on site

“They had more of the battle,” Trotz said. “They got the saves they needed to. We had some good looks and some fair chances on the power play (including a Marcus Johansson opportunity on the doorstep stopped by Al Montoya) and we just don’t find the back of the net and we ended up chasing.

Bouncing back: The Caps have not lost back-to-back games all season, going 7-0-0 following losses. They set a goal at the start of the season to go all year without consecutive losses.

The Lightning are 7-5-1 at home and the Caps are 8-3-1 on the road.

“This is a terrific group,” Trotz said. “They have a lot of pride. Tampa is very good at home and we’ll need to bring our ‘A’ game because what we brought (Thursday night) wasn’t good enough. We’re starting to play some really good teams and we need to make sure our desperation is as high as the teams we are playing.”

The Caps follow up tonight’s game with a visit to Pittsburgh on Monday night, followed by home games against Ottawa and Tampa.

Lineup shuffle: Since Trotz has a policy of getting everyone in a game during the dads’ trip, look for Stan Galiev and Andre Burakovsky to return to the lineup and for Chris Brown and possibly Michael Latta to come out. Goaltender Braden Holtby is expected to return to action after getting the night off in Sunrise, Fla., on Thursday.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

The Capitals got their trade deadline started early by trading for defensemen Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek. Washington has been struggling of late, but do their new acquisitions address the team's weaknesses?

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir evaluate the two trades and talk about where they could fit into the lineup.

You can listen to the latest episode here on the Capitals Faceoff page or with the player below.

Want even more great Capitals coverage? Follow @TarikNBCS and @JJReganNBCS on Twitter!

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Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal


Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

The Capitals continued to retool their scuffling blue line on Wednesday, acquiring 26-year-old defenseman Jakub Jerabek from Montreal in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2019.

The move comes a couple of days after GM Brian MacLellan dealt a conditional third-round selection to Chicago for swift skating Michal Kempny.

Both Jerabek and Kempny are left shot, puck-moving defensemen who move well and make crisp outlet passes. Both also hail from the Czech Republic.


The team sees Jerabek as a No. 5 or 6, I’m told.

On Wednesday, the Caps also officially said goodbye to Taylor Chorney, who was claimed off waivers by Columbus. Chorney will report to the Blue Jackets.

The Caps were off on Wednesday as they made their way Florida for Thursday night’s meeting with the Panthers, so it’s unclear how Coach Barry Trotz intends to deploy his new defensemen.

But it’s probably safe to assume that Kempny will move into a spot within the top four with John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen.


That figures to leave Brooks Orpik and Jerabek on the third pair, while rookies Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey jockey for position as the next man up.

Kempny is expected to make his Caps’ debut on Thursday night.

Is the Caps’ D corps better? Well, that remains to be seen. But it had become clear to MacLellan and Co. in recent weeks that the status quo was not going to cut it. This month, in fact, the team has allowed 39 goals in 10 games. Only the Rangers (40) have allowed more in the same span.

With the trade deadline looming next Monday, the Caps now have roughly $617,000 in cap space, according to, and are at the roster maximum of 23 players. So they would need to make a move in order to add another body.