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John Scott wins All-Star MVP


John Scott wins All-Star MVP

He wasn't even supposed to be there.

John Scott, the controversial captain of the Pacific Division All-Stars, silenced the critics with two goals en route to an MVP performance in the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday.

The former enforcer of the Arizona Coyotes is not particularly known for his skill. In fact, he is currently assigned to the AHL. Before this year, most would have thought the only way he could have made the All-Star game was to buy a ticket.

Yet, the fans voted Scott a captain.

Fan votes can often be unpredictable. With the NHL allowing fans to vote in whoever they wanted as team captains, the fans pulled the ultimate fast one on the NHL as Scott won the vote for the Pacific Division.

RELATED: Caps bow out in first round of All-Star tournament

Not everyone was happy with the vote. In an article of on The Players' Tribune, Scott wrote that the league tried to discourage him from playing. But the player who some thought would end up embarrassing himself turned out to be the best story of the day.

Let's face it, every major sport is grappling with the issue of how to fix their all-star game. The MLB assigns home-field advantage in the World Series based on who wins theirs. The NFL comes under fire every year for a lackluster Pro Bowl.

The NHL experimented this year with a brand new format as they continue to tweak the game in order to generate more interest. They got more interest this year thanks to Scott.

Scott did not look out of place at all skating stride for stride with the NHL's best. In his first game, Scott, the unlikely All-Star, scored twice. Fans chanted "John Scott" throughout, but changed their chants to "MVP" as the day went on. 

The fairy tale story came complete with a fairy tale ending as Scott's Pacific Division team won the 3-on-3 tournament, Scott was named the All-Star Game MVP and his teammates interrupted a postgame interview to lift their captain on their shoulders.

In the end, Scott didn't embarrass the NHL at all. He brought buzz to an event that sorely needed it and was the most compelling story of the day.

And he wasn't even supposed to be there.

MORE HOCKEY: Caps All-Stars help lead East to win in Skills Challenge

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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.