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Positive signs surround Capitals' Game 1 win over Penguins

Positive signs surround Capitals' Game 1 win over Penguins

News, notes and quotes from the Capitals’ hair-raising, breath-taking 4-3 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night at Verizon Center (stick tap to research analyst Rich Goldberg):

Positive sign: Per Elias Sports Bureau, teams that win Game 1 in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup playoff series hold an all-time series record of 445-200 (69 percent), including a perfect 8-0 in Round 1 this spring.

“Game 1 is really important, but it’s amazing how, opposed to 10 years ago, how well road teams are doing,” Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “I think no matter what building you’re playing in, it’s kind of an even playing field.”

Don’t count your chickens: In their eight previous playoff meetings with the Penguins the Caps have won Game 1 seven times but are 1-6 in those series.

Familiar territory: Since 2001, the Penguins are 0-7 when starting a playoff series on the road.

Powerless: Despite leading the NHL with eight power-play goals in Rounds 1, the Caps (0-for-4) and Pens (0-for-2) were held silent in Game 1. It marked the first time this post-season the Pens were held without a power play goal.

The Caps are now 0-for-14 since Game 3 against Philadelphia. They started that series 8-for-17 in the first three games.

By the numbers: The Caps improved to 38-2-2 this season when scoring first; 23-0-1 record when leading after the first; and 29-7-8 in one-goal goal games.

OT history: The Capitals are now 24-30 in playoff overtimes, 11-13 on home ice. In the Alex Ovechkin era they are 10-13 in playoff OTs, 5-6 at home.

Trickster: T.J. Oshie became the third player in Caps history to record a playoff hat trick with an overtime goal, joining Nicklas Backstrom (Game 2, 2010 conference quarterfinal against Montreal) and Dino Ciccarelli (Game 1, 1990 division semifinal against New Jersey).

Oshie now has six goals and one assist in six games against the Penguins this season.

Leave it to Ovi: Alex Ovechkin on T.J. Oshie's wraparound goal: "Great effort by Osh. I think in overtime every shot is a good shot." 

Hitman: Alex Ovechkin led the Caps with seven hits and his 35 hits this postseason ranks fourth in the NHL. 

Bura-cuda: Andre Burakovsky now has three goals and two assists this season against Pittsburgh.

At the top: Goalie Braden Holtby became the Caps’ winningest goalie in playoff history with his 21st win.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

The Capitals got their trade deadline started early by trading for defensemen Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek. Washington has been struggling of late, but do their new acquisitions address the team's weaknesses?

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir evaluate the two trades and talk about where they could fit into the lineup.

You can listen to the latest episode here on the Capitals Faceoff page or with the player below.

Want even more great Capitals coverage? Follow @TarikNBCS and @JJReganNBCS on Twitter!

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Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal


Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

The Capitals continued to retool their scuffling blue line on Wednesday, acquiring 26-year-old defenseman Jakub Jerabek from Montreal in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2019.

The move comes a couple of days after GM Brian MacLellan dealt a conditional third-round selection to Chicago for swift skating Michal Kempny.

Both Jerabek and Kempny are left shot, puck-moving defensemen who move well and make crisp outlet passes. Both also hail from the Czech Republic.


The team sees Jerabek as a No. 5 or 6, I’m told.

On Wednesday, the Caps also officially said goodbye to Taylor Chorney, who was claimed off waivers by Columbus. Chorney will report to the Blue Jackets.

The Caps were off on Wednesday as they made their way Florida for Thursday night’s meeting with the Panthers, so it’s unclear how Coach Barry Trotz intends to deploy his new defensemen.

But it’s probably safe to assume that Kempny will move into a spot within the top four with John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen.


That figures to leave Brooks Orpik and Jerabek on the third pair, while rookies Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey jockey for position as the next man up.

Kempny is expected to make his Caps’ debut on Thursday night.

Is the Caps’ D corps better? Well, that remains to be seen. But it had become clear to MacLellan and Co. in recent weeks that the status quo was not going to cut it. This month, in fact, the team has allowed 39 goals in 10 games. Only the Rangers (40) have allowed more in the same span.

With the trade deadline looming next Monday, the Caps now have roughly $617,000 in cap space, according to, and are at the roster maximum of 23 players. So they would need to make a move in order to add another body.