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NHL schedules Tuesday hearing for Penguins' Kris Letang

NHL schedules Tuesday hearing for Penguins' Kris Letang

PITTSBURGH -- The Penguins and Capitals will learn later today what kind of supplementary discipline the NHL Department of Player Safety will give Penguins defenseman Kris Letang for his open-ice hit on Caps left wing Marcus Johansson in Game 3 Monday night at Consol Energy Center.

Letang has a hearing scheduled on Tuesday and there seems to be a consensus around the NHL that he’ll face a suspension of one or two games.

According to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, Letang’s hit was delivered .63 seconds after Johansson passed the puck. The NHL considers a late hit as body contact made at least .60 seconds after a player releases the puck.

By comparison, Brooks Orpik’s late hit on Penguins defenseman Olli Maata in Game 2 was delivered more than a second after Maatta possessed the puck. Orpik was given a three-game suspension for the hit. Maatta suffered an upper body injury on the play and may not return for the series against the Caps.

Several Capitals, including captain Alex Ovechkin, said they believe Letang should get the same three-game suspension as Orpik, but many around the league believe Letang is more likely to get one or two games because of the nature of his hit on Johansson and the fact Johansson returned to finish the game.

An NHL source said the Department of Player Safety takes into account a player’s medical records when deciding on the length of suspensions.

Letang is averaging 29:13 of ice time in the playoffs, by far the highest on the Penguins and sixth in the NHL. He ranks second on the Penguins in assists (6), fifth in points (7), third in shots (22) and third in hits (22) during the playoffs.

The Penguins were 2-8-1 without Letang during the regular season. 

"He’s a guy who’s very tough, if not impossible, to replace,” Penguins defenseman Ian Cole said after Monday night’s game.

If Letang is suspended, defenseman Justin Schultz is expected to replace him in the lineup, giving the Pens two defensemen (Derrick Pouliot is the other) with just one game of playoff experience under their belts.

The Penguins may also be without rookie forward Bryan Rust, who left Game 3 with a lower body injury and did not return.

The Penguins lead the series 2-1, with Game 4 scheduled for Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

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Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread


Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

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

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


The Capitals (34-20-7) take on the Sabres (18-32-11) Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Capital One Arena.


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

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Sabres
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30


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

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

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


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.


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.

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.