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Carlson's quote sums up Capitals' mindset with 3-0 series lead


Carlson's quote sums up Capitals' mindset with 3-0 series lead

PHILADELPHIA -- The Capitals made an emphatic statement with their 6-1 win over the Flyers Monday night.

To their fans. To their coach. And most importantly, to themselves.

“This group of guys has been together all year,” Caps captain Alex Ovechkin said after scoring a pair of goals to help give the Caps their first-ever 3-0 lead in a playoff series. “We know each other, we respect each other, we trust each other. If somebody makes a mistake we try to carry them. 

“It’s huge, but it’s not over yet. We have to forget about it and move forward. The next one is a big one and it’s a huge opportunity for us to come back home and see who’s gonna be next.”

Capitals coach Barry Trotz seemed perturbed by the Flyers’ tactics in the third period when they committed eight penalties, including a five-minute major to Pierre-Eduoard Bellemare for checking Dmitry Orlov from behind.

Orlov stayed in the game and said he was fine afterward.


The Capitals made the Flyers pay on the scoreboard, where they went an incredible 5-for-9 on the power play. The Caps are now 8-for-17 on the man-advantage in the series, while the Flyers are 0-for-13.

“We pulled away and they weren’t interested in playing anymore,” Trotz said. “It wasn’t good for the game, plain and simple. I don’t think it displays our game very well.”

Trotz said the Caps have been strong on the power play because the Flyers keep letting them practice it.

He also quipped, “We took their best punch.”

Not so, according to Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds, who expects the Flyers to come out flying on Wednesday.

“I want to see the hunger level,” Simmonds said. “We’ve got to play a lot hungrier and play a lot more desperate. We’re hanging onto our lives here. We’ll never give up in this dressing room. It’ll never be over. We’ll keep fighting until the end. We know we’ve got to come out and be extremely hungry next game. We’ve got to bring it.”

Capitals defenseman John Carlson was asked after the game what being up 3-0 in the series means to him. 

"Nothing," Carlson said, "unless we win."

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

The Washington Capitals had not beaten the Dallas Stars at home since 2006, Alex Ovechkin's second season in the NHL. That streak ended on Tuesday in a 4-3 Caps win.

Here's how the Caps were finally able to down Dallas in Washington.

Oshie still hot

After going 19 straight games without a goal, T.J. Oshie has been red-hot of late with four goals in his last four games. He scored Washington’s first goal in what would become a three-goal period for the Caps as they battled back from a 1-0 deficit into a 3-3 tie through 40 minutes. Oshie also added an assist as he won a power play faceoff that John Carlson fed to Alex Ovechkin for the goal.


Ovechkin victimizing his favorite target

You knew Ovechkin would score given he was playing against one of his favorite targets. With his second period goal, Ovechkin now has 22 goals against Kari Lehtonen in his career, tied with Henrik Lundqvist for the most goals he has scored on any netminder. Lehtonen has not been in the Eastern Conference since the 2008-09 season. When he goes to sleep at night, Ovechkin is who he sees in his nightmares.

The Carlson-Klingberg duel

Carlson and John Klingberg entered Tuesday’s game each with 59 points, tied for the league lead in points among defensemen. Carlson downplayed the matchup both before and after the game, but it was clear that both players were playing at another level all game long. While both players tallied two points on the night, you have to give the win to Carlson as he had the most significant point, a game-winning goal in the third period.


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Tarik's 3 Stars: Ovechkin further cements his place in history

Tarik's 3 Stars: Ovechkin further cements his place in history

Alex Ovechkin further cemented his place in NHL history, John Carlson stayed hot and Braden Holtby was good when called upon as the Caps downed the Stars, 4-3, at Capital One Arena on Tuesday night.

The victory was Washington’s fifth in the past six games. It also marked the Caps’ first win over Dallas in D.C. since 2006.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

Ovechkin scored his 44th goal of the season and the 602nd of his career in the second period to give the Caps a short-lived 3-2 edge in the second period.

The goal put Ovi back atop the league as he seeks a seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. It also pushed him past Jari Karri and into sole possession of 19th place on the NHL’s all-time list. Ovechkin has now victimized Kari Lehtonen 22 times, which is tied for the most goals he’s scored against a single netminder. (Henrik Lundqvist has also given up 22 goals to No. 8). Ovi also had a couple of secondary helpers.

2-John Carlson, Capitals

Carlson scored the game-winner 4:59 with left to play, blasting a one-timer past Lehtonen to put the Caps ahead 4-3.

Carlson also notched an assist, which allowed him to stay even with Dallas’ John Klingberg. Klingberg had two assists. Both players ended the game with 61 points—tied for the most among all NHL defensemen.    

3-Alexander Radulov, Stars

From his first shift, it was apparent that Radulov was determined to leave his mark on the game. And he did just that, recording a goal, an assist and boarding minor that bloodied Caps defenseman Michal Kempny. Radulov’s goal—a redirection of a John Klingberg shot—was his 26th and it evened the score, 2-2, in the second period.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.