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Holtby, Oshie and Burakovsky highlight Monday's preseason lineup at New Jersey

Holtby, Oshie and Burakovsky highlight Monday's preseason lineup at New Jersey

When the Caps open their seven game preseason slate Monday night against the Devils in Newark, here’s how they are expected to line up based on the media notes:


Riat – Stephenson – Oshie
Burakovsky – Boyd – Chiasson
Walker – Eller – Elgestal
Malenstyn – Graovac – Barber


Djoos – Carlson
Ness – Lewington
Johansen – Chorney




A few observations:

  • It is indeed a youthful lineup, as Coach Trotz promised.
  • Chiasson, who is on a PTO, had an assist in Sunday’s scrimmage and has the appearance of a guy who’ll make the opening night roster. The question, at this point, seems to be whether he’s a regular in the lineup or a spare this season. A strong preseason could help him clinch the former option.  
  • Walker has enjoyed a strong first few days of camp, crushing the conditioning test and chipping in with a goal in the first scrimmage. They want him to lock down the fourth line spot vacated by Daniel Winnik, who was not re-signed. Here’s the Aussie’s first chance to make a closing argument.
  • I suspect Ness has a pretty good chance of landing on the opening night roster. But the 27-year-old faces some competition from a handful of hungry youngsters. A strong preseason showing could cinch things for him.



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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

We are down to the home stretch. Only 10 games remain in the Capitals' regular season. Those 10 games will ultimately decide if the Caps finish in first place in the Metropolitan Division and who they will play in the first round of the playoffs.

Washington currently sits in first place in the division, two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and four points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. Of those 10 remaining games, only three come against teams currently in playoff position. The most critical of these comes on April 1 when the Caps travel to Pittsburgh in a game that could ultimately decide the division.

The Caps still hold a narrow lead in the standings, but where do they stand in the rankings? See this week's updated NHL Power Rankings here.

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3 stars of the game: A lethargic loss in Philadelphia


3 stars of the game: A lethargic loss in Philadelphia

Playing three games in four days takes a toll on even the fittest athletes, and it was their sluggish start that doomed the Capitals in a 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. 

After being noncomittal about his starting goalie all weekend, Coach Barry Trotz put Philipp Grubauer in net. Grubauer ended up making 29 saves on 34 shots. Offensively, the Caps got goals from Alex Ovechkin, Chandler Stephenson, and John Carlson. Carlson's third period goal cut the Flyers' lead to two with a little over three minutes to go, but a Jakub Voracek empty-netter a few moments later was the nail in the coffin. 

Here are your three stars from the game: 

1. Travis Boyd had the play of the game for the Capitals. Boyd carried the puck into the Flyer's zone, cut through multiple defenders and fired a slick shot to a streaking Ovechkin, who burried the puck in the back of the net. Check it out: 

Not only was the play nice on its own, but it was Boyd's first NHL point. Not a bad way to get it. 

2. Shayne Gostisbehere​ got the Flyers going with his goal in the first period. The defenseman had one goal on five shots along with being an intimidating force in the defensive zone. After going six weeks without scoring, today's goal was Gostisbehere's second goal in three games. 

3. Wayne Simmonds was the best offensive player on the ice on Sunday, scoring twice - both in the final period. It was the 22nd and 23rd goals of the season for the 29-year-old winger. It was also the first multi-goal game for Simmonds since Opening Night, when he had two against San Jose. 

The Caps hit the ice next on Tuesday, when they welcome the Dallas Stars to the Capital One Center.