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Pregame primer: Caps aim for 5th straight road win


Pregame primer: Caps aim for 5th straight road win

More news and notes as the Capitals (8-2-0, 16 points) visit the New York Rangers (7-2-2, 16 points) tonight at Madison Square Garden (6:30 pregame, CSN):

Goalie matchup: Braden Holtby (6-2-0, 1.90 GAA, .924 SP) will go for the Caps, while Henrik Lundqvist (5-2-2, 1.87, .943) will go for the Rangers. In 11 career games against the Blueshirts Holtby is 3-6-1 with a 2.34 GAA and .926 SP. Lundqvist is 18-8-3 with a 2.52 GAA, .910 SP and four shutouts in 29 career games against the Caps. “He’s our best player,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “He’s our highest-paid player also.” Lundqvist is in the second year of a seven-year, $59.5 million contract.

Chasing history: The Caps’ 8-2-0 start matches their best in franchise history. They were also 8-2-0 in 1991-92 and 2011-12. The Caps are 4-0-0 on the road this season and have never started a season with five straight road wins. The Rangers are 5-1-1 at home this season.

Ovi and Nick: In 29 career regular season games against Lundqvist, Alex Ovechkin has 16 goals and 11 assists. Nicklas Backstrom has five goals and 15 assists in 21 games against Lundqvist.

Kuz-tastic: Evgeny Kuznetsov ranks fifth in the NHL with 1.30 points per game and some are projecting him as a point-per-game player. “Maybe he went under the radar there for while,” Vigneault said, “but no more.”


My baloney has a first name: Rangers rookie Oscar Lindberg is second on the club with five goals and is the first rookie in club history to score a goal in his first three games. Lindberg was selected by Phoenix in the second round (57th overall) of the 2010 NHL draft and traded to the Rangers for Ethan Werek back in 2011.

Quick starters: The Rangers have outscored opponents 12-5 in first periods this season, while the Caps have outscored opponents 9-6 in the opening 20 minutes. “They usually start quick, especially in this building,” Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “So managing the puck and making them go 200 feet will be important for us. If they score the first goal it can kind of snowball on you.”

Solving Henrik: The Caps say the secret to beating Henrik Lundqvist is, you guessed it, traffic. “We have a good scouting package on him as I’m sure he does on our shooters,” Brooks Laich said. “He’s a good goaltender. Their team is also notorious for blocking shots. We need to be hungry around the net and get inside position on their defenders and just be hungry to score”

Fights? What fights?: Ten games into the season the Caps are one of four NHL teams without a fighting major. The Rangers have engaged in just one fight, by defenseman Kevin Klein. If there’s a nifght to see one, it’s tonight, when Tom Wilson plays on a fourth line against Dylan McElrath.  

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Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread


Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Sabres will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Sabres game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.


The Capitals (34-20-7) take on the Sabres (18-32-11) Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Capital One Arena.


The Capitals-Sabres game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Sabres
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30


Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Sabres game:

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

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


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.


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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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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.