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Oshie leaves practice; Trotz says he's fine


Oshie leaves practice; Trotz says he's fine

Fans at Kettler got a little scare on Wednesday when Capitals’ top-line right wing T.J. Oshie abruptly left the ice midway through practice. Seconds later third-line left wing Jason Chimera also departed.

Chimera returned to the ice and joked with a reporter afterward that he had to make a phone call to his mother. Oshie, however, did not return.

“Just precautionary,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said of Oshie, who finished second on the Caps with 26 goals this season. “He’s fine. He just got tangled up with one of the guys there.”

Oshie was not in the Capitals’ locker room when it was opened to reporters.

The forward lines and defense pairings remained unchanged from Tuesday’s practice and Trotz said his players are looking forward to opening their first-round series against the Flyers on Thursday night at Verizon Center (6 p.m. Pregame Live, CSN).

“Guys want to get going and playing,” Trotz said. “If we had another practice day they would not like it. We’re as ready as we’re going to be to start a series.”

The Caps’ only lineup changes from the regular season will be Mike Richards stepping onto the third line between Chimera and Marcus Johansson, and Dmitry Orlov and Nate Schmidt skating as a third defense pairing. Orlov and Schmidt will be making their Stanley Cup playoff debuts.

In Philadephia news, Flyers' defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere returned to practice on Wednesday. He missed practice on Tuesday for what was called a maintenance day.

RELATED: This year's Stanley Cup parade will take place in ..

Here’s how the Caps looked at practice:

Forward lines

Alex Ovechkin – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie

Andre Burakovsky – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Justin Williams

Jason Chimera – Mike Richards – Marcus Johansson

Daniel Winnik – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson

Extras: Stan Galiev, Michael Latta

Defense pairings

Karl Alzner – Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik – John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov – Nate Schmidt

Extras: Mike Weber, Taylor Chorney

Here’s how the Flyers looked on Wednesday, with Gostisbehere returning:

Forward lines

Jake Voracek – Claude Giroux – Wayne Simmonds

Michael Raffl – Sean Couturier – Brayden Schenn

Matt Read – Nick Cousins – Sam Gagner

Chris Vande-Velde  - Pierre Edouard Bellemare – Ryan White

Defense pairings

Nick Schultz – Mark Streit

Andrew MacDonald – Shayne Gostisbehere

Brandon Manning – Radko Gudas

MORE CAPITALS: How did we do? Looking back at our Eastern Conference predictions

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Tarik's 3 stars: Caps come up empty on an emotional night in Florida


Tarik's 3 stars: Caps come up empty on an emotional night in Florida

Vincent Trocheck scored on the power play with 18.7 seconds remaining and the Panthers escaped with a 3-2 victory on an emotional night in Sunrise, Fla.

Trocheck’s goal was Florida’s second in the final four minutes…and the Caps were left to lament yet another incomplete performance. Washington has now lost three of its last four games and fell to 4-5-2 in February.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Vincent Trocheck, Panthers

Trocheck did what Trocheck does in the third period: The Florida forward scored a clutch goal in the final seconds, redirecting a Jonathan Huberdeau shot through Brooks Orpik’s legs and past Braden Holtby. Eller was in the penalty box when Trocheck scored his 13th third period goal of the season.

2-Andre Burakovsky, Capitals

After losing a goal to Eller in the first period, Burakovsky made sure he didn’t go home empty handed. No. 65 scored on the power play in the second period to put the Caps ahead 2-1. It was Burakovsky’s third goal in six games. He also earned a secondary assist on Eller’s redirection score.   

3-Braden Holtby, Capitals

Following a handful of un-Holtby-like performances lately, Holtbeast roared Thursday night at BB&T Center. He made at least one game-saving stop in each period: an arm save on Trocheck in the first period; a pad stop on Denis Malgin in the second and another extended pad stop on Evgenii Dadonov in the third. Holtby finished with 30 stops.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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4 reasons why the Panthers beat the Caps


4 reasons why the Panthers beat the Caps

The Caps looked like they had the win as they led 2-1 late in the third period, but things went off the rails in the final four minutes of the game in a 3-2 loss for Washington.

Here's how the Caps lost.

An emotional start for Robert Luongo

Before the game, Roberto Luongo took the mic during an emotional tribute to the victims of the tragic Stoneman Douglas school shooting. As a writer, it was hard to get into the game after that. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been for Luongo to focus after that. But he did. He started off the game very well, making several strong saves. Washington scored late in the first period after an offensive cycle of over a minute that completely wore out the Panthers' skaters. Otherwise, Luongo was brilliant turning aside 13 of the 14 shots he faced in the opening 20 minutes.

Another shaky start for Braden Holtby

This was the best game we have seen from Braden Holtby in a while as he made a number of phenomenal saves in the second and third period. In the first, however, he continued to struggle. Maxim Mamin scored his first career NHL goal and point as a puck trickled through Holtby and Mamin was able to slam it home. Holtby was dealing with a screen, but reacted late to the initial shot and late to Mamin.

Aleksander Barkov splitting Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson

With a 2-1 lead, the Caps looked like they had control. But with less than four minutes remaining, Aleksander Barkov was able to split Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson to set up Nick Bjugstad for the game-tying goal. Ovechkin was backchecking and Carlson stepped up on him and then...nothing. It looked as if both players thought the other would take Barkov and Ovechkin let up at the same time Carlson skated past giving Barkov a lane to the net.

A late penalty to Lars Eller

With the game tied late, the Caps were exerting their will in the offensive zone with the cycle that had been dominant all game long...and then Lars Eller tried to set a pick on Bjugstad, knocking him to the ice. It was an obvious interference call with just 42 seconds remaining in the game. Florida would score 22 seconds later to deny Washington not only the win, but even a point.