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News and Notes: Capitals react to Gleason's Game 4 fight

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News and Notes: Capitals react to Gleason's Game 4 fight

News, notes and quotes as the Caps arrive in New York in hopes of closing out their second-round playoff series against the New York Rangers Friday night at Madison  Square  Garden [6:30 pregame, CSN, 7:30 puck drop, NBCSN]:

Ready to close: Leading their series 3-1, the Caps are on the brink of going to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in the Alex Ovechkin era but there is still plenty of respect for last year’s conference champions. Each of the Rangers’ five victories and four defeats in the post-season has been by one goal.

“We’re in a good position to move on, but the work is still out there and we still have a long way to go,” Caps defenseman John Carlson said. “This is a tough game against a tough team to try to close them out. I think we’ve seen a lot of resiliency this year and it’s time to go to work.”

Brooks Laich was equally respectful of the Rangers, who won the Presidents Trophy with the NHL’s best record this season.

“MSG is a tough place to play,” he said. “They play very well on home ice. They are a very good hockey team and the series has been very close. For us, we just want to keep moving forward. As player, all you want is your best effort and let the result lie where it is.”

MORE CAPITALS: CAPITALS STRIKE FRIENDLY WAGER AMONG TEAMMATES

Greasy Glease: Caps defenseman Tim Gleason got into his first playoff fight in Wednesday night’s 2-1 win in Game 4 when he dropped the gloves with Rangers irritant Tanner Glass. The fight came seconds after Gleason was rammed into the Capitals’ net by Rangers fourth-line winger James Sheppard.

“I’m OK with that,” Caps coach Barry Trotz said. “Everybody was scrumming around. Glass stayed out of the scrums and waited for a hockey fight and picked an opponent. That was a smart, veteran move.”

Trotz said Gleason has given the Caps everything they hoped to get when they traded Jack Hillen and a fourth-round pick to Carolina to acquire him on Feb. 28.

“He’s delivered,” he said.

Laich agreed, comparing Gleason to burly defenseman John Erskine.

“They are kind of quiet guys with a unique sense of humor,” he said. “He’s strong and solid on the back end. He’s an ultimate team guy. He’ll block a shot, step up and made a check, put his body on the line, fisticuffs. Tim is in to win.”

Gleason was not among he players who spoke to the media on Thursday but it’s a safe bet his face will show the battle scars from his fight with Glass, which left Gleason’s left eye cut and bloodied.

Penalty shot or penalty?: Trotz was asked Thursday if he’s rather see a player take a two-minute penalty or allow his goalie to face a penalty shot. In Game 4, Caps defenseman Mike Green pulled down Carl Hagelin, who was stopped by Braden Holtby on a game-deciding penalty shot.

“I’d probably take the penalty kill versus the penalty shot,” Trotz quipped. “But if you know you’re goaltender is going to save the penalty shot, I’ll take the penalty shot.”

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Caps prospect watch: Boyd dedicates 4-goal performance to daughter after week in the hospital

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Caps prospect watch: Boyd dedicates 4-goal performance to daughter after week in the hospital

It would have been understandable if Travis Boyd struggled this past week. Something more important was on his mind.

Boyd spent the week in the hospital with his daughter, Hayden, who had been experiencing pain in her throat. He spent the enitre week in the hospital, not leaving until Hershey's game against Laval.

Boyd turned this trial into something incredible as he scored four goals Friday in Hershey's 6-3 win.

Boyd spoke about the ordeal with Zach Fisch of the Bears Radio Network (transcription via RMNB).

“It actually started after the game last Sunday against Rochester," he said. "I went straight from the rink to Urgent Care and then from Urgent Care to the ER. Never left the hospital until Friday morning. We had a successful surgery on Thursday night. Basically just a bad infection in her throat that had to be surgically removed. They had to surgically go in and kind of remove the bacteria and drain out the fluids. Everything went well. She’s doing well.”

Following the game, Boyd dedicated his performance to Hayden.

A four-goal game at the AHL level would have been an incredible accomplishment on its own. The fact that it came during such a trying time for him makes this a truly inspirational story.

You can watch highlights of the game including all four of Boyd's goals here:

CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S UPDATED CAPS’ PROSPECT RANKINGS HERE

Other prospect notes:

  • In the Bears' game Friday against Laval, Riley Barber dropped the gloves with Markus Eisenchmid.  Barber was given an extra minor and game misconduct for instigating the fight in the final five minutes of the game. That penalty carries with it an automatic one-game suspension which Barber served Saturday. Here's a look at the fight.

  • Liam O'Brien had a pair of two-goal games over the week, scoring twice against Laval Friday and then two more against Toronto on Monday. Of his four goals, three of them were empty netters.
  • As the Capitals prepare for their Stadium Series game in Annapolis on March 3, Annapolis mayor Gavin Buckley—a native of Perth, Australia—made a plea to see Nathan Walker recalled for the game.  “I’ll have to put a quick shout out to the one Australian that’s playing for the Caps now, Nathan Walker. If you could just bring him up for this game, that’d be great. Because an Australian being in a hockey game is like a Jamaican bobsled team. It doesn’t happen very often.”

  • Brian Pinho was honored Friday in Providence College's Senior Night. He has served as captain of the team this season and as an assistant captain in his junior year. He spoke with The Cowl on what being a leader on the team means to him. "I think being a leader of this team is a great honor, but also a huge responsibility. I try to keep everything fun at the rink, while also bringing some intensity and competing hard every day.” You can read the full story here.
  • Goalie Adam Carlson, who was on loan to the Indy Fuel of the ECHL, was reassigned to the Kansas City Mavericks also of the ECHL. He started two games for his new team and turned aside 42 of the 48 total shots he faced.

Who are the Caps' top 10 prospects? Find out here in his week's updated rankings.

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Game 61: Capitals at Panthers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 61: Capitals at Panthers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers

Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Fla.

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

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

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

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME?

The Capitals (34-19-7) take on the Panthers (26-25-6) Tuesday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Florida.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME ON?

The Capitals-Panthers game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 7:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:30 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:30 p.m. — Capitals at Panthers
10:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:30 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Panthers game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Michal Kempny - Brooks Orpik

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME?

The Capitals-Panthers 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.

CAPITALS-PANTHERS OPEN THREAD

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.