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Caps see point streak snapped in Ottawa

Caps see point streak snapped in Ottawa

Final score: Capitals 0, Senators 3

How it happened: An early shorthanded goal by Chris Kelly set the tone for the entire night. Bobby Ryan would add a second tally in the first period to extend the deficit. With no real offensive pressure to speak of on the night, the wind completely came out of Washington's sails when the Senators took a 3-0 lead in the second period.

What it means: The loss snaps Washington's 14-game point streak and three-game win streak. The loss prevented the Caps from sweeping the three-game season series against the Senators (2-1-0). Washington still sits atop the NHL standings, however, with the Columbus Blue Jackets' loss earlier on Tuesday.

Goals

Ottawa goal (shorthanded): Chirs Kelly from Tom Pyatt and Fredrik Claesson at 1:46 in the 1st. A steal in the offensive zone launched Kelly and Pyatt on a two-on-one. Kelly finished off the play with a backhand shot for the goal. Caps 0, Senators 1

Ottawa goal: Bobby Ryan from Fredrik Claesson and Derick Brassard at 4:10 in the 1st. Ryan deflects a point shot from Claesson. Caps 0, Senators 2

Ottawa goal (power play): Zack Smith from Chris Wideman and Ryan Dzingel at 11:57 in the 2nd. Smith beats Grubauer with a tip-in from the high slot. Caps 0, Senators 3

Three stars:

1. Fredrik Claesson: Claesson forced the turnover on the penalty kill that led to Ottawa's first goal. It was also his slapshot that Ryan deflected in to give Ottawa the early 2-0 lead.

2. Daniel Winnik: One of the few bright spots of the game for Washington was Winnik who nearly scored on a shorthanded breakaway in the first period. 

3. Jean-Gabriel Pageau: Pageau played well on the penalty kill, but made his mark in the second period by getting under Alex Ovechkin's skin. After slashing the Caps' captain, Ovechkin wrestled Pageau down to the ice. Matching minors were issued, but Pageau did his job by getting Ovechkin off the ice. 

Look ahead: The Caps will head back stateside for a game in New Jersey on Thursday, their last game before the all-star break.

Tell us what you think: Alex Ovechkin ended up in the penalty box in the second period as frustrations boiled over and he grabbed Jean-Gabriel Pageau by the head. Do you like seeing the captain trying to fire up his team or does Ovechkin need to be more careful and stay out of the box?

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Capitals are shaking up the coaching staff in Hershey

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The Hershey Bears

Capitals are shaking up the coaching staff in Hershey

The contracts of Hershey Bears head coach Troy Mann and Bears assistant coach Ryan Murphy will not be renewed for next season, the Capitals announced Wednesday. Hershey finished in last place in the Atlantic Division and did not qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

“Troy is a dedicated and hard-working coach and we appreciate all he has done for the Hershey Bears,” said Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan. “At this point, we feel a fresh approach and a change in leadership is needed in order for us to continue to develop our young players towards the next level and for success at the AHL level. We also want to thank Ryan for his contributions to the Hershey Bears and wish him all the best.”

Just two seasons ago, the Bears under Mann were playing the Calder Cup Finals where they lost in four games to the Lake Erie Monsters. Mann served as an assistant coach for Hershey from 2009-2013 and was hired as the head coach in 2014. He led the Bears to a record of 162-102-22-18 during his tenure, good for sixth all-time among Hershey coaches in wins.

Mann coached several current Capitals players in Hershey including Travis Boyd, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Madison Bowey, Christian Djoos and Philipp Grubauer, among others. Hershey also currently boasts several of the Caps' biggest prospects such as Lucas Johansen, Connor Hobbs, Riley Barber and Jonas Siegenthaler.

Murphy was with the Bears for all four years of Mann's tenure. He started in video development in Mann's first season and was promoted to assistant coach the following year.

“We’d like to thank Troy Mann and Ryan Murphy for their contributions to the Hershey Bears organization,” said Hershey vice president of hockey operations, Bryan Helmer. “While we are looking to move our hockey club forward, today is certainly an emotional day. I had the pleasure of working with both Troy and Ryan behind the bench for two seasons, and consider them to be great people. We wish both all the best in future endeavors.”

Coaching in the AHL is a tough job as coaches are expected to bring the team success while also developing their NHL club's prospects. There are times when the two goals do not necessarily line up which can make it a difficult balance.

Considering how important it is to develop talent from within, AHL coaches are very significant parts of an organization. Getting the right guy in charge of Hershey won't just boost the AHL team, but will help the Caps down the line with developed players.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: And so we meet again

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: And so we meet again

We all knew this was coming, right?

The Capitals will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs for the third consecutive season and for the 11th time in franchise history. Washington has only beaten Pittsburgh once in their previous 10 series. This season gives them the opportunity to get over the second round and Pittsburgh hump once and for all.

Will this year be different? Will the Caps finally take down their arch nemesis? Will they finally advance to the conference final?

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps-Penguins matchup in the Capitals Faceoff Podcast.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page