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Oshie, Ovi expected to make preseason debuts

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Oshie, Ovi expected to make preseason debuts

News and notes as the Capitals prepare for tonight’s 2015 preseason opener against the Carolina Hurricanes at Verizon Center (7 p.m. CSN):

Let the games begin: The Capitals are coming off just three days of on-ice practices and will play seven preseason games over the next 14 days, three of them at Verizon Center, where they were 4-0-0 in the preseason last year. Since 2011-12, the Caps are 9-1-2 at home in preseason games.

Oshie debut: T.J. Oshie will make his Capitals preseason debut tonight and is expected to play alongside former St. Louis Blues teammate Derek Roy, who is trying to make the Caps’ lineup on a professional tryout contract. The Capitals acquired Oshie from the Blues in exchange for right wing Troy Brouwer, goaltender Pheonix Copley and a third-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft on July 2, 2015. Oshie registered 55 points (19 goals, 36 assists) and 51 penalty minutes in 72 games with St. Louis last season. He finished the season ranked tied for third among Blues skaters in assists, fourth in plus/minus (plus-17), tied for fourth in game-winning goals (4) and fifth in points and goals. Roy could center that line with Andre Burakovsky on the leftr, or Burakovsky could center the line with Roy on the left.

Ovi and Kuzy: Look for Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov to play together on a top line, perhaps with fellow Russian Stan Galiev. In scrimmages, Brooks Laich has been centering a third line with left wing Jason Chimera and right wing Tom Wilson and they could begin tonight’s game as a unit. Ovechkin scored 53 goals last season to capture his third consecutive and fifth career Rocket Richard Trophy. No other player has won the award more than twice. Ovechkin led the NHL in goals (53), power-play goals (25), game-winning goals (11) and shots (395) in 2014-15.

Starting in goal: Braden Holtby is tabbed as tonight’s starter between the pipes and is expected to play half the game, with Dan Ellis taking over midway through the second period. Holtby set career highs in wins (41), shutouts (9), games played (73), goals-against average (2.22) and save percentage (.923) last season. He also registered a franchise-record 1,887 saves and tied the franchise record in wins, shutouts and games played. He finished the 2014-15 season ranked first in the NHL in ice time (4,247), games played (73) and saves (1,887), tied for second in shutouts (9) and wins (41), fifth in goals-against average (2.22) and tied for seventh in save percentage (.923). Since the start of the 2012-13 season, Holtby ranks second in the NHL in shutouts (17), trailing Carey Price (18). Ellis signed with the Caps as a free agent and played in 19 games with the Hurricanes during the 2012-13 season, posting a 6-8-2 record with one shutout, a 3.13 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.

RELATED: Peters facing uphill climb to make Capitals

3-on-3: Regardless of the game’s outcome after three regulation periods, the Caps and Canes will experiment with the NHL’s new 5-minute 3-on-3 format. Look for an all-Russian combination of Kuznetsov, Ovechkin and Dmitry Orlov. It will be interesting to see if the Caps allow Holtby to go back in for the 3-on-3 overtime period, which could be a risky decision if he’s sitting cold on the bench.

Here is the Capitals’ numerical roster for tonight:

Forwards

8 OVECHKIN, Alex

10 ROY, Derek

13 VRANA, Jakub

21 LAICH, Brooks

24 BARBER, Riley

25 CHIMERA, Jason

43 WILSON, Tom

48 CAMPER, Carter

49 GALIEV, Stanislav

53 COLLINS, Sean

65 BURAKOVSKY, Andre

77 OSHIE, T.J.

92 KUZNETSOV, Evgeny

Defensemen

2 NISKANEN, Matt

9 ORLOV, Dmitry

20 STANTON, Ryan

27 ALZNER, Karl

29 DJOOS, Christian

55 NESS, Aaron

58 CARRICK, Connor

Goaltenders

39 ELLIS, Dan

70 HOLTBY, Braden

Preseason schedule

Tonight: Carolina Hurricanes, Verizon Center 7 p.m. CSN, NHLN Caps Radio 24/7

Tuesday: at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m., Caps Radio 24/7

Thursday: at Montreal Canadiens, 7:30 p.m. Caps Radio 24/7

Sept. 28: at NY Islanders, 7 p.m., FM 106.7, Caps Radio 24/7

Sept. 30: at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m., Caps Radio 24/7

Oct. 2: Boston Bruins, Verizon Center, 7 p.m., CSN, NHLN Caps Radio 24/7

Oct. 4: NY Islanders, Verizon Center, 5 p.m., CSN, NHLN Caps Radio 24/7

MORE CAPITALS: Capitals line combinations slowly taking shape

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

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USA TODAY Sports

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.

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Team USA reclaims women's hockey gold from Canada in instant Olympic classic

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Team USA reclaims women's hockey gold from Canada in instant Olympic classic

GANGNEUNG, South Korea  -- The Americans' gold medal drought in women's hockey -- finally -- is over.

Even though they needed the first shootout in an Olympic women's final to do it.

Twenty long years after taking gold when the sport debuted in 1998 at Nagano, the United States snapped Canada's streak of four straight Olympic golds Thursday with a 3-2 shootout victory.

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scored in the sixth round of the shootout to start the Americans piling over the boards, throwing gloves in the air before huddling and hugging on the ice.

Gigi Marvin and Amanda Kessel also scored in the shootout. Monique Lamoureux-Morando tied it up with a breakaway with 6:21 left in regulation.

Hilary Knight also had a goal.

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Maddie Rooney made 29 saves for the win against their archrival. The 20-year-old goalie stopped the last two Canadian shooters in the shootout in Brianne Jenner and then Meghan Agosta on her second attempt.

It was sweet redemption for the 10 Americans who watched the Canadians snatch gold from their hands in 2014 at Sochi after tying it up with 54.6 seconds left in regulation and winning 3-2 in overtime.

Not only did the Americans snap the Canadians' stranglehold on Olympic gold, they ended a skid of five straight against their rival coming into this game, including a 2-1 loss to wrap up pool play a week ago.

Marie-Philip Poulin and Haley Irwin each scored goals for Canada. Agosta and Melodie Daoust scored in the shootout.

The Americans had been dominating in non-Olympic years, winning the last four and eight of the last 10 world championships, including a 3-2 overtime victory over Canada last spring.

Their domination on the world stage only made the lack of gold at the Olympics all the more noticeable, and Canada has been in their way since losing the inaugural gold in Nagano. Canada had won 24 straight Olympic games to go along with four consecutive gold medals. It's a streak of success in a women's team sport second only to the United States' basketball team's current streak of six straight gold.

This was the eighth time these North American rivals met in the Olympics and the fifth with gold on the line. None of the previous seven were decided by more than two goals.

U.S. coach Robb Stauber went with the 20-year-old Rooney in net for the biggest game of her career, but she was the goalie for each of the three games the Americans beat Canada last fall during their pre-Olympic exhibition tour, including Four Nations Cup title in November.

Canada had Shannon Szabados, 31, in goal for her third Olympic gold medal game, and her teammates made her job very easy by keeping the puck in front of Rooney for most of the first period by dictating play. The Americans couldn't use their speed or get organized even with two power plays until Sarah Nurse went in the box for interference late in the period.

Knight gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead with 25.4 seconds left in the first, redirecting a shot from Sidney Morin through Szabados' pads giving the Americans a jolt of energy.

That lasted only 2 minutes into the second when Irwin tipped a pass from Blayre Turnbull over Rooney's left leg for Canada. When Morin lost the puck, Melodie Daoust grabbed it and passed to Meghan Agosta who hit Poulin for the wrister into the left side of the net at 6:55 for a 2-1 lead.