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Grubauer sent down for different Cup


Grubauer sent down for different Cup

If the Capitals go on to win the Stanley Cup in June, goaltender Philipp Grubauer did enough to get his name etched onto the big, silver chalice, despite the fact that he returned to the AHL Hershey Bears on Tuesday.

Eleven days after stopping 18 shots in a 4-3 win in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, Grubaer was re-assigned to the Bears on Tuesday, where he will be eligible to play in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs. The Bears lead their best-of-five series with the Worcester Sharks two games to none and can sweep the series with a win in Game 3 Wednesday night at the GiantCenter in Hershey.


Grubauer was recalled by the Capitals on April 17 after starter Braden Holtby fell ill during Game 1 of the Capitals’ series against the New York Islanders.

Grubauer, 23, made his NHL playoff debut that same night and became the fifth rookie goaltender in Capitals history to pick up a win in his playoff debut. He was the seventh rookie goaltender to start a playoff game in franchise history, joining Braden Holtby (2012), Michal Neuvirth (2011), Semyon Varlamov (2009, 2010), Jim Carey (1995), Byron Dafoe (1994) and Bob Mason (1987). Grubauer is also the first German-born goaltender to start a playoff game in NHL history.

Following that win, Grubauer has served as the Caps’ backup behind Holtby, but with Holtby now healthy, those duties will fall to backup Justin Peters, who has never played in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Grubauer posted a 27-17-5 record with six shutouts, a 2.30 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage in 49 games with Hershey this season.

He finished the season ranked tied for third in the AHL in wins and shutouts, tied for eighth in save percentage and 12th in the League in goals-against average. 

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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

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Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin for Game 1

Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin for Game 1

As the Capitals and Penguins prepare to open their second-round series, significant injury news came out of Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Head coach Mike Sullivan informed the media that both Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin would not play in Game 1 due to injuries.

The fact that Hagelin would not be traveling with the team suggests that he will miss Game 2 as well, but that has not been confirmed. That also means that Malkin is at least a possibility for Game 2.

Malkin did not play in Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers after getting injured in a collision with Jakub Voracek in Game 5. Hagelin was injured in Game 6 on a big hit from Claude Giroux.

So when the series against Washington begins, Pittsburgh will be playing without two-thirds of its second line.

Malkin made a real push for the Hart Trophy this season with 42 goals and 98 points. He was a major factor in last season's Cup run with 28 points in 26 games and was gearing up for another big postseason with five points in his first five games.

But don't celebrate too much, Caps fans. It is not as if either loss will be crippling to Pittsburgh's offense.

Despite not having Malkin for the entire Game 6 and losing Hagelin midway through the second period, the Penguins still managed to put up eight goals on the Flyers in the series-clinching win.

Still, with scoring depth being such a strength for Pittsburgh, the Capitals need to take advantage. The Penguins will be without one of the best players in the NHL and that makes Game 1 crucial. Washington has gone down 0-2 in each of their past two playoff series including last year against Pittsburgh. They lost that series in seven games. They need to have a better start this year and with no Malkin or Hagelin for Game 1, this may be a must-win for the Caps.

Riley Sheahan and Dominik Simon skated with Phil Kessel on the second line at practice on Wednesday and it is a good bet that is how the second line will remain for Game 1. That way, Pittsburgh can keep its third line of Conor Sheary, Derick Brassard and Bryan Rust line together which has been very effective.