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Forsberg among Caps prospects at World Juniors camp


Forsberg among Caps prospects at World Juniors camp

By Ben Raby

Washington Capitals prospect Filip Forsberg is back in North American this week as members of Swedens National Junior program join junior hopefuls from the United States and Finland in an eight-day camp in Lake Placid, NY.

The Aug. 4-11 camp will see Forsberg and the Swedes play four robin-robin games on an international-sized rink as all three participating countries prepare for the 2013 World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia.

In Swedens round-robin opener on Monday, Forsberg was held without a point as the Swedes beat USA White 5-1.

Forsberg, who turns 18 later this month signed a three-year deal with the Capitals in July but confirmed at the time that he will spend at least one more season playing professionally in Sweden.

Ill be playing back in Leksand Sweden this year, Forsberg said at the Capitals development camp in July. And then if the Caps want me over, maybe I'll give it a shot. But it's hard to tell a year ahead. We'll see. In one year you can ask me the same question."

The Capitals first-round pick (11th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, is one of six Swedes eligible to return from last years gold medal winning World Junior team.

Caps defensive prospect Garrett Haar (seventh round, 207th overall, 2011 Entry Draft) was teamed with Jacob Trouba on USA Blues top pairing Monday in Blues 5-4 win over Finland Through three round-robin games, Caps defensive prospect Connor Carrick (fifth-round, 137th overall, 2012 Entry Draft) has one assist Caps prospect Travis Boyd (sixth-round, 177th overall, 2011 Entry Draft) has been used primarily as a third line center for USA White and scored in his opening round-robin gameThrough three round-robin games for USA Blue, Caps prospect Thomas DiPauli has been used primarily as a fourth line center. DiPauli (fourth-round, 100th overall, 2012 Entry Draft) is still seeking his first point of the camp.
Check back on in the days to come for additional updates on USA Hockeys World Junior camp. The schedule of the camp (and scores of completed games) is included below.
August 4USA White 5-USA Blue 2August 5USA Blue 4-USA White 3August 6USA Blue 5-Finland 4Sweden 5-USA White 1August 7Finland vs. Sweden, 4 p.m.August 8 USA vs. Finland, 4 p.m.August 9USA vs. Sweden, 4 p.m.August 10Finland vs. Sweden, 4 p.m.August 11USA vs. Finland, 1 p.m.

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3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres


3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

You may think this was an ugly four-game road trip for the Caps, but with a 3-2 win in Buffalo on Monday, Washington managed to earn five out of a possible eight points.

Here is why the Caps beat the Sabres and managed to save the road swing.

A missed high-stick (maybe) from Ovechkin

Ovechkin scored the first goal of the game in the second period as he deflected a high-shot from Christian Djoos down past goalie Chad Johnson. But did the deflection come on a high stick? The play was reviewed and the goal was ultimately upheld. According to the NHL, it was determined that "video review supported the Referee's call on the ice that Alex Ovechkin's stick was at or below the height of the crossbar when he tipped the puck into the Buffalo net."

NBC Sports Washington analyst Alan May broke the play down during the second intermission and made his case for why the NHL actually got the call wrong.

Was that a high stick? I don't know. As compelling an argument as May made, it still looks inconclusive which means the review made the right call. What surprises me is that the referee did not disallow the goal on the initial call.

Whether the review is truly inconclusive or flat out wrong, Washington was fortunate to walk away from this sequence with the goal.


A centimeter of ice

Hockey is a game of inches and it took less than an inch to put Washington up 2-0. When an Evgeny Kuznetsov shot hit off the boards and bounced back to the front of the net, it sparked a scrum next to goalie Chad Johnson. Eventually, John Carlson was able to get a swipe on the puck sending it trickling to the goal line, but Kyle Okposo was there waiting and appeared to kick it out to safety just before it crossed. A review triggered by the Situation Room, however, revealed that the puck had just barely managed to cross the goal line before Okposo got to it.

Here's the view the NHL released after the review:

Philipp Grubauer's third period

After dominating the first 40 minutes of the game and taking a 2-0 lead, Buffalo predictably made a late push in the third period with two goals to pull within one. Washington outshot the Sabres in the first and second periods, but Buffalo reversed that trend in a big way in the third as they outshot the Caps 17-6. Grubauer turned aside 15 of those shots and was impressive after barely being tested in the first two periods.


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3 stars of the game: Caps knockout the punchless Sabres


3 stars of the game: Caps knockout the punchless Sabres

Coming off an ugly 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, a Buffalo Sabres team missing star Jack Eichel was just what the doctor ordered for the Caps to get back on track. Washington dominated the first two periods and then survived a late surge from Buffalo for the 3-2 win.

After battling to a scoreless first, Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson spotted Washington a 2-0 lead in the second. They then held on in the third period as Buffalo began to tilt the ice in their favor, with Evgeny Kuznetsov scoring the empty-netter to put this game out of reach. Evander Kane would pull Buffalo within one, but with only three seconds left it was too little, too late.

Here are the three stars of the game:

1. Alex Ovechkin: Ovechkin opened up the scoring in the second period as he deflected down an innocent shot from Christian Djoos past Chad Johnson. Ovechkin also set a physical tone as he battled with defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen all game long. After taking a high elbow from Ristolainen early in the game Ovechkin skated up to Ristolainen prior to the faceoff on his next shift and let him know that it was on. 

2. John Carlson: Carlson had a hand in both of Washington's goals on Monday. He recorded a secondary assist on Ovechkin's goal as he made a blue line pass to Djoos which Djoos fired on net and Ovechkin deflected. Carlson then managed to hit the puck past the goal line in a scrum next to Johnson. It looked initially like Kyle Okposo had managed to kick out the puck just before it crossed, but Carlson was awarded the goal as a review showed the puck had completely crossed the line.

3. Philipp Grubauer: A Sabres team that ranks last in the NHL in scoring and that was also without its leading scorer did not test Grubauer much in the first two periods. Facing a 2-0 deficit, however, Buffalo made a third period push to try to tie the game, but Grubauer was up to the task as he turned aside 15 of the 17 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes. He finished with 32 total saves on the night.