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Oshie expected to miss first game with Caps, kids are disappointed

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Oshie expected to miss first game with Caps, kids are disappointed

Gabbi and Lauren Scott grew up watching T.J. Oshie play for the St. Louis Blues and the two sisters did everything possible to get noticed by their favorite hockey player on Thursday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

Gabbi, 8, wore a white handmade T-shirt that read: “Navy Kid (Heart)s T.J. Oshie.” Lauren’s red T-shirt read: “Oshie For President.” Both cradled their treasured T.J. Oshie dolls.

Only problem was Oshie was home with the flu (and is expected to miss his first game as a Capital tonight in New Jersey).

“They were so excited to see T.J,” said Anita Scott, who attended a USO (United Service Organizations) open skate at Kettler with her daughters following the Caps’ practice. Anita’s husband, Marc, is stationed at the Naval Air Station in Patuxent River. “We even have a box of Oshie O’s cereal.”

Oshie missed Thursday’s practice with what Caps coach Barry Trotz called a “flu bug.” Trotz said that since Oshie missed practice and the team flew to Newark without him, he did not expect him to play tonight.

“I wouldn’t expect him to play,” Trotz said. “But if he feels better (Friday) maybe we throw him on a plane. Who knows?”

If Oshhie does not play, look for Stan Galiev to play on a fourth line with center Mike Richards and left wing Daniel Winnik.

Acquired in a trade that sent right wing Troy Brouwer, goaltender Pheonix Copley and a third-round pick to the Blues, Oshie has played in all 72 games for the Caps this season and is second on the team with 23 goals and fifth with 45 points. Brouwer, who will make his Washington return on Saturday night, has 15 goals and 16 assists in 74 games for the Blues.   

Galiev has not played since March 1. In 19 games this season he has no goals and three assists.

Without Oshie this is how the Caps looked at practice on Thursday:

Forward lines

Alex Ovechkin – Nicklas Backstrom – Justin Williams

Marcus Johansson – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Andre Burakovsky

Jason Chimera – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson

Daniel Winnik – Mike Richards – Stan Galiev

Defense pairings

Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen

Nate Schmidt - John Carlson

Brooks Orpik - Dmitry Orlov

Mike Weber - Taylor Chorney 

[RELATED: Trotz, Caps trying to make rest their 'weapon']

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Game 58: Capitals at Blackhawks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 58: Capitals at Blackhawks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Where: United Center, Chicago, Ill.

When: 8:30 p.m. ET

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

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

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

The Capitals (33-17-7) take on the Blackhawks (24-26-8) Saturday, February 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET in Chicago.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME ON?

The Capitals-Blackhawks game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 7:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 8:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 11:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 12:30 a.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

7:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
8:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:30 p.m. — Capitals at Blackhawks
11:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
12:30 a.m. — Caps in 30

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

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

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

Defensemen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Jakub Vrana, Taylor Chorney

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

The Capitals-Blackhawks 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.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS 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.

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NHL Awards tracker: How Malkin is helping Ovechkin's case for the Hart

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USA TODAY Sports

NHL Awards tracker: How Malkin is helping Ovechkin's case for the Hart

A week by week look at where the race for the major individual NHL awards stands and which Caps could be in contention.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been red-hot as of late and so has Evgeni Malkin. In his last nine games, Malkin has tallied a whopping 11 goals and 17 points. His current run has some people talking about him contending for the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player.

But if you want to talk about Malkin for the Hart, you have to talk about Alex Ovechkin as well.

Malkin has 66 points this season, Ovechkin has 65. Even with his impressive goal run of late, Malkin still trails Ovechkin in the goal-scoring race 34-32. What's more, Ovechkin's Capitals still hold a three-point lead over Pittsburgh with two games in hand in the Metropolitan Division.

Granted all of this could change by next week. Perhaps Malkin will pass Ovechkin in goals or the Penguins will pass the Caps in the standings which will change the conversation. Until then, however, there's no way to push Malkin's Hart candidacy without thinking about Ovechkin. What he is doing at the age of 32 with a Capitals team in which no one really knew what to expect is more impressive than what the 31-year-old Malkin is doing with players like Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby with the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:

John Carlson

In contention for: Norris

Carlson is third among all defensemen with 45 points, but his case goes beyond the numbers. With two rookies on the blue line and an injury to Matt Niskanen, the Caps have asked a lot of Carlson this season and he has always been up to the task.

SEE THIS WEEK'S 2018 NHL AWARDS TRACKER HERE

Braden Holtby

In contention for: Vezina

Holtby is on pace to be a 40-win goalie for the fourth consecutive season. He would be the first goalie in NHL history to accomplish that feat.

Alex Ovechkin

In contention for: Hart

If Malkin is a Hart candidate, so is Ovechkin who has done more with less in Washington this season.

Barry Trotz

In contention for: Jack Adams

The Caps still hold a three-point lead in the Metropolitan Division despite having two rookies on the blue line, dealing with more injuries than they have seen in years and down offensive years for some of its top players. Trotz deserves a lot of credit for that.

Check out who the top candidates are for the league's major individual awards in this week's 2018 NHL Awards Tracker!