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With one preseason game left, Trotz is still searching for the right mix

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With one preseason game left, Trotz is still searching for the right mix

As the preseason nears its end, Capitals Coach Trotz continues to tweak his forward lines and D pairs in search of the right mix for the start of the regular season.

Here’s how Trotz had his players lined up for practice on Saturday—24 hours before the Caps close out the exhibition season in St. Louis.

Forwards

Burakovsky – Backstrom – Oshie

Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Vrana

Connolly – Eller – Wilson

Smith-Pelly – Beagle – Chiasson

Extras

Graovac, Walker, Peluso and Stephenson

Defense

Orlov – Niskanen

Orpik – Carlson

Ness – Chorney

Djoos – Bowey

Goalies

Holtby

Grubauer

Some notes, quotes and observations from KCI:

  • Trotz didn’t hold back when asked about how important it is for his team to have a strong performance in St. Louis. The Caps are 1-5 in their first six exhibition games. “The most embarrassing fact that I can say is we’ve scored eight goals in six games,” he said. “You have to look at that and go, ‘That’s not good enough for this group.’ We’ve really got no production from our top guys. In saying that, we are going to get production from our top guys. They’re too good. They’re too professional. They’re too talented. So we will get that from there. I’m trusting [that], as true pros, they are going to come through and they are going to show what they are made of. I have to trust that. History tells me that. We’re not where we’ve been in the past in terms of our game in a lot of areas—detail, urgency and all that.”
  • Trotz added: “If you talk to players, it’s been a little harder to get the energy this year based on how it ended in the summer. Another way to say it is that is we got stuck with last year’s energy, or lack of, at the end. It took a piece of us, and now we got to dust ourselves off here and go. Let’s quit with the self-pity and all that. And whatever’s holding us back, let’s go play. We need to play.”
  • With one preseason game remaining, Trotz has a pretty good idea of which players he wants to keep on his 22-or 23-man opening night roster. But it’s also clear that he’s still searching for the right combinations based on some of the alignments on Saturday.
  • Orpik has moved back in the top-4 and was skating with Carlson. Asked if he’s considering that pair to start the season, Trotz said: “Yes, we are. We are considering that, especially with the number of road games that we have. It could help restart [Carlson]. They were a terrific complement together a couple of years ago, so we’re just rewinding the clock a little bit, if you will.”
  • After a strong game Friday night at Carolina, Vrana is getting another look on Ovechkin’s line. Connolly, meantime, is on the third line.
  • The battle for the two openings on the fourth line is ongoing. On where the competition stands following Friday’s 3-1 loss in Raleigh, Trotz said: “Some guys took a step forward and some guys maybe took a half step back. Do I have it totally clear? No, not totally clear. When we sit down with [GM Brian MacLellan] obviously there’s some of the business side.”
  • As we’ve mentioned a number of times, the roster decisions won’t be decided by performance alone. Waivers and cap considerations will also factor into who makes it and who doesn’t—at least to start the year.
  • The Caps are scheduled to play in St. Louis on Sunday and take Monday off. Opening night rosters are due Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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How the Caps won their first round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets

How the Caps won their first round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets

Things did not look good for the Capitals after two games.

Facing a 0-2 series hole after losing both games in Washington, it looked like it could be an early summer. The Caps were going to be the first team to ever lose a series in the playoffs to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

HOW DID THE CAPS WIN THEIR SERIES AGAINST COLUMBUS? FIND OUT HERE

But the Caps rallied.

Washington won the next four games and turned what looked like it would be another postseason disaster into a postseason triumph.

Only once in franchise history had the Caps rallied from a 0-2 deficit and only once had the Caps won four straight games to win a series. They managed both against the Blue Jackets.

Here's how the Caps were able to rally to a first-round victory over Columbus.

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NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018: Capitals vs. Penguins schedule, date, time, TV channel, how to watch

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018: Capitals vs. Penguins schedule, date, time, TV channel, how to watch

The Capitals and Penguins face off in the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference semifinals, marking the third consecutive season the two Metro Division rivals have met in the playoffs.

The Capitals have beaten the Penguins in a playoff series just once in ten attempts dating back to 1991, and all five of the Penguins' Stanley Cup Championships included series wins over Washington.

The Capitals and Penguins split the regular-season series 2-2, with both teams picking up wins at home and on the road. The Capitals outscored the Penguins 13-12 over the course of the four regular-season games. 

The Capitals vs. Penguins 2018 NHL Playoff series will begin on Thursday, April 24 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. E.T.

Pregame coverage of the Capitals vs. Penguins on NBC Sports Washington begins an hour before puck-drop with Caps FaceOff, followed by Caps GameTime.

Caps Extra follows each playoff game with Caps OverTime after that. 

Stream Pre- and postgame coverage of Capitals vs. Penguins Game 1 on NBC Sports Washington.

Game 2 information has yet to be released.

CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS 2018 NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Game 1: Penguins at Capitals
Date: Thursday, April 26
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC Sports Network (Channel Finder)
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (1500 AM)

Game 2: Penguins at Capitals
Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: TBD (Channel Finder)
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (1500 AM)

Game 3: Capitals at Penguins
Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Penn.
TV Channel: TBD (Channel Finder)
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (1500 AM)

Game 4: Capitals at Penguins
Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Penn.
TV Channel: TBD (Channel Finder)
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (1500 AM)

Game 5 (If Necessary): Penguins at Capitals
Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC (Channel Finder)
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (1500 AM)

Game 6 (If Necessary): Capitals at Penguins
Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Penn.
TV Channel: TBD (Channel Finder)
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (1500 AM)

Game 7 (If necessary): Penguins at Capitals
Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: TBD (Channel Finder)
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (1500 AM)