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Ovechkin wants to break Fedorov's record tonight

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Ovechkin wants to break Fedorov's record tonight

The other day, Russia’s all-time leading goal scorer and incoming Hockey Hall of Famer Sergei Fedorov made a long-distance request to Alex Ovechkin, asking him to wait until Tuesday night when the Caps are in Detroit, to pass his record.

Ovechkin, who is two goals away from overtaking Fedorov (483 NHL goals) as the leading Russian goal scorer in NHL history, responded on Saturday morning.

“My plan is to get three tonight, so we’ll see,” said Ovechkin, who has not recorded a hat trick since Dec. 10, 2013 when he scored four goals in a comeback win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“It’s going to be a huge honor, obviously, to pass all the great names in Russian hockey and be No. 1. It’s huge.”

What amazes Capitals coach Barry Trotz is how quickly Ovechkin has climbed Russia’s mountain of goal scorers, one which includes Alexander Mogilny (473), Pavel Bure (437), Alexei Kovalev (430) and Ilya Kovalchuk (417).

It took Fedorov 1,248 games to score 483 NHL goals. Ovechkin has scored 482 goals in 771 games.

“Any time you pass a great player that’s got to be pretty fulfilling,” Trotz said, “but I was looking at the number of games he’s doing it at and it’s crazy that he’s hundreds of games ahead of one of the greatest players who is going into the Hall of Fame (on Monday).

“That’s pretty outstanding and he’s doing it in an era where it’s harder to score. When I see those numbers that’s what blows me away. Knowing how great Sergei was as a player, that’s pretty outstanding.”

Ironically, Ovechkin is approaching Fedorov’s record without the benefit of a power play goal this season. Entering tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Verizon Center (7 p.m., CSN) all seven of his goals this season have come at even strength. After leading the NHL in power-play goals in each of his last three seasons, Ovechkin has failed to score on 15 power-play shots and he has just one power-play assist.

The Caps’ eight power play goals have come from John Carlson (2), T.J. Oshie (2), Nicklas Backstrom (1), Evgeny Kuznetsov (1), Marcus Johansson (1) and Matt Niskanen (1).

“Obviously, we have so many options out there and we have to find the one that’s going to work,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s me or Carly or Osh or Niskanen or whatever. We just have to find the right one and put it in.”

Trotz said the attention Ovechkin draws on the power play is a weapon in itself.

“They always have someone standing next to him and everyone else benefits from him,” Trotz said. “Unselfishly, he’ll stand further away from the net to draw someone away from someone else.

“He doesn’t get frustrated with it, he just gets frustrated if he gets a good look and misses the net or has a goalie down and he doesn’t execute. He’ll take all the shadowing so other people score. Just watch when we score. He’s just as excited if Oshie or Backy scores than if he scores. He doesn’t really care.” 

MORE CAPITALS: Capitals prepare to face lowly Maple Leafs

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Caps prospect watch: Boyd dedicates 4-goal performance to daughter after week in the hospital

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Caps prospect watch: Boyd dedicates 4-goal performance to daughter after week in the hospital

It would have been understandable if Travis Boyd struggled this past week. Something more important was on his mind.

Boyd spent the week in the hospital with his daughter, Hayden, who had been experiencing pain in her throat. He spent the enitre week in the hospital, not leaving until Hershey's game against Laval.

Boyd turned this trial into something incredible as he scored four goals Friday in Hershey's 6-3 win.

Boyd spoke about the ordeal with Zach Fisch of the Bears Radio Network (transcription via RMNB).

“It actually started after the game last Sunday against Rochester," he said. "I went straight from the rink to Urgent Care and then from Urgent Care to the ER. Never left the hospital until Friday morning. We had a successful surgery on Thursday night. Basically just a bad infection in her throat that had to be surgically removed. They had to surgically go in and kind of remove the bacteria and drain out the fluids. Everything went well. She’s doing well.”

Following the game, Boyd dedicated his performance to Hayden.

A four-goal game at the AHL level would have been an incredible accomplishment on its own. The fact that it came during such a trying time for him makes this a truly inspirational story.

You can watch highlights of the game including all four of Boyd's goals here:

CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S UPDATED CAPS’ PROSPECT RANKINGS HERE

Other prospect notes:

  • In the Bears' game Friday against Laval, Riley Barber dropped the gloves with Markus Eisenchmid.  Barber was given an extra minor and game misconduct for instigating the fight in the final five minutes of the game. That penalty carries with it an automatic one-game suspension which Barber served Saturday. Here's a look at the fight.

  • Liam O'Brien had a pair of two-goal games over the week, scoring twice against Laval Friday and then two more against Toronto on Monday. Of his four goals, three of them were empty netters.
  • As the Capitals prepare for their Stadium Series game in Annapolis on March 3, Annapolis mayor Gavin Buckley—a native of Perth, Australia—made a plea to see Nathan Walker recalled for the game.  “I’ll have to put a quick shout out to the one Australian that’s playing for the Caps now, Nathan Walker. If you could just bring him up for this game, that’d be great. Because an Australian being in a hockey game is like a Jamaican bobsled team. It doesn’t happen very often.”

  • Brian Pinho was honored Friday in Providence College's Senior Night. He has served as captain of the team this season and as an assistant captain in his junior year. He spoke with The Cowl on what being a leader on the team means to him. "I think being a leader of this team is a great honor, but also a huge responsibility. I try to keep everything fun at the rink, while also bringing some intensity and competing hard every day.” You can read the full story here.
  • Goalie Adam Carlson, who was on loan to the Indy Fuel of the ECHL, was reassigned to the Kansas City Mavericks also of the ECHL. He started two games for his new team and turned aside 42 of the 48 total shots he faced.

Who are the Caps' top 10 prospects? Find out here in his week's updated rankings.

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

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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.