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Eller 'super excited' to be joining Capitals

Eller 'super excited' to be joining Capitals

With a wife, Julie, and a 3-year-old daughter, Sophia, Capitals center Lars Eller decided now might be a good time to visit Washington and begin making plans for his first season with the Capitals.

Eller, 27, visited with Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner and his wife, Mandy, over the holiday weekend, and discussed places to live and preschools his daughter could attend. The Alzners have a 2 ½-year-old daughter and just welcomed their first son into the world last month.

“We wanted to come in and see the city and find a  preschool to make the transition a little smoother,” Eller told members of the media on Tuesday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, where he received his first tour since being traded to the Capitals for a pair of second-round draft picks (in 2017 and 2018) on June 24.

Eller, who has two years remaining on the four-year, $14 million contract he signed with the Montreal Canadiens two summers ago ($3.5 million cap hit), said it was nice to get acquainted with his new surroundings.


 “It definitely (feels more real),” he said. “I spent six years in Montreal and it’s like your second home almost. You come to a new organization, a new city and there’s a lot of new things. You want to get some questions answered and get familiar with everything. It feels really good.”

Taken by the St. Louis Blues with the 13th overall selection in the 2007 NHL draft, Eller has been traded only one other time in his career. That came on June 17, 2010 when he was traded from the Blues to the Canadiens.

In six seasons in Montreal Eller played in 435 games and recorded 73 goals and 83 assists. Last season he netted 13 goals and 13 assists in 79 games and the Capitals are hoping for similar production next season as their third-line center.

“It’s a very different situation now (than in 2010) but honestly, so far it’s been nothing but positive since we’ve been here,” Eller said. “I’m sure it’s going to be a great fit for me and my family.”

On the night of his trade to Washington, Eller received a text message from Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin – “I don’t think there were any smiley faces, but her sent me a text and said welcome to the team” – then had a long chat over the phone with Capitals coach Barry Trotz, who made it clear Eller will begin the 2016-17 season as the Capitals’ third-line center behind Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

“I’m super excited about this,” Eller said. “There are so many good things about this team. It can compete for a Cup. They have all the pieces that’s needed to be right there. I think it’s just a matter of putting it together at the right time. They have all the right pieces and it is a lot more fun to play on a team with a winning culture than it is the other way around. I really enjoyed my time in Montreal, I learned a lot. But I’m very excited to join the Caps and turn the page and start a new chapter.”

When Eller arrives at training camp in September – the Denmark native was not selected to play on Team Europe for the World Cup – he will wear No. 20, a jersey number he wore when he played for Peoria of the AHL in 2009-10.

Eller, who will become the first Danish-born player to play for the Caps, plans on returning to Montreal on Wednesday and visiting his family in Denmark for a couple weeks before returning to Montreal for summer workouts and arriving in D.C. in early September. He said his daughter is excited about moving into a new home.

“She asked for a pink room, so we’re going to try to give her that, at least.”


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Game 72 Capitals at Flyers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 72 Capitals at Flyers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

When: 5:00 p.m. ET

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

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


The Capitals (41-23-7) take on the Flyers (36-25-11) Sunday, March 18 at 5:00 p.m. ET in Philadelphia.


The Capitals-Flyers 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)

4:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
4:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
5:00 p.m. — Capitals at Flyers
7:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
8:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
9:00 p.m. — Caps in 30


The Capitals-Flyers 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.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov considered day-to-day, will miss Sunday's game in Philadelphia

USA Today Sports

Evgeny Kuznetsov considered day-to-day, will miss Sunday's game in Philadelphia

Evgeny Kuznetsov has been declared day-to-day with an undisclosed upper body injury, the Caps announced Saturday afternoon.

He will not play Sunday against the Flyers, marking the first time in four seasons that the durable 25-year-old center will have missed a game.

Kuznetsov, the Caps’ assists leader and first line pivot over the past week, was injured in the second period of Friday’s 6-3 win over the Islanders. On the play, he slashed on the arm by New York defenseman Thomas Hickey before he tumbled awkwardly into the end boards.


Kuznetsov did not return to the contest.

The Caps did not practice on Saturday as they made their way to Philadelphia, where they'll look to extend their winning streak to five games.  

The team, per usual, did not elaborate about the extent or nature of Kuznetsov’s injury. But it does seem to be a good sign that he was not listed as week-to-week—the designation the Caps typically reserve for more severe injuries. And with a two point lead on Pittsburgh in the Metro Division standings—and a game in hand—they can actually afford to be cautious with one of their most important players.


The injury does, however, come at a time when Kuznetsov appeared to be hitting his stride. Including the two assists he had racked up prior to leaving Friday’s game, Kuzy has amassed five goals and 11 assists in 10 games.    

Without Kuznetsov on Sunday, Nicklas Backstrom, Lars Eller and Jay Beagle will be the team’s most experienced centers. Travis Boyd and/or Chandler Stephenson figure to be deployed as the fourth pivot.

Coach Barry Trotz is expected to meet with reporters prior to Sunday’s game. It’s possible he’ll shed some more light on Kuznetsov’s outlook at that time.

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