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Prediction recap: Halak plays spoiler against Caps yet again

Prediction recap: Halak plays spoiler against Caps yet again

The Caps were blanked on Thursday in a 3-0 loss to the New York Islanders. Did it play out as expected?

Here’s a recap of the three bold predictions.

1. The Caps will trail at the end of the first period - Wrong

It was a bit of a sleepy start for the Caps who were initially outshot 10-5 through the first 13 minutes of the first period, but Washington turned things on later in the period, firing six shots on goal in the final seven minutes. Justin Williams came within one-tenth of a second of giving the Caps the 1-0 lead in the final second of the first period, but the goal was overturned and the game remained scoreless through the first frame.

RELATED: Orlov owns up to his role in the Caps' 3-0 loss to the Islanders

2. Jakub Vrana will register an assist, but not a goal - Wrong

Vrana was held off the scoresheet altogether, but played well in his NHL debut. He registered four shots on goal for the game, including the Caps’ first shot on goal with a spinning backhand low on Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak.

3. Caps will score more than two goals - Wrong

Halak has struggled all season long, but he put those struggles behind him on Thursday. He just seems to have Washington’s number as he once again came up big in a 38-save performance to shutout the Caps. Washington didn’t do themselves any favors with a sputtering power play that went 0-for-6 on the night, but it was clearly Halak’s best game of the season.

MORE CAPITALS: Caps prank Vrana in warmups

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.

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NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

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USA TODAY Sports

NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

The Hart Trophy is given to the player judged to be the most valuable to their team. With the Caps currently struggling in almost every aspect of the game, consider this: Just where would they be without Alex Ovechkin?

Washington ranks 10th in the NHL in goals per game with 3.05. Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 36. He has scored an incredible 19-percent of his team's goals. No one on the Caps is within 20 goals of the Caps' captain.

That's not a typo. Evgeny Kuznetsov ranks second on the team with 16 goals. No other team in the league has a larger separation between its top two scorers. In fact, only three teams have a difference that's in the double digits: Vancouver (11), San Jose (10) and New Jersey (10).

Ovechkin is almost singlehandedly propping up Washington as a top-ten offense. If you think about just where this offense would be without him, there's a pretty strong case to be made that Ovechkin is as valuable to his team this season as any other player in the league.

SEE THIS WEEK'S 2018 NHL AWARDS TRACKER HERE

Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:

John Carlson

In contention for: Norris

Carlson is fifth among all defensemen with 45 points, but his case goes beyond the numbers. With a blue line that has featured two rookies the majority of the season, an aging veteran in Brooks Orpik and that had to deal with an injury to Matt Niskanen, the Caps have asked a lot of Carlson this season and he has always been up to the task.

Alex Ovechkin

In contention for: Hart

Few players, if any, are as important to their team's offensive production and therefore its success than Ovechkin has been this season.

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