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Prospect Report: Production from the blue line


Prospect Report: Production from the blue line

Hershey update: 5-3-0-2, 3rd in the Atlantic Division. Last week: 2-1-0-1

The Hershey Bears added several young players to their roster this season including a pair of young defensemen in Madison Bowey and Christian Djoos. Finding a way to effectively use all of that young talent can be tricky, but head coach Troy Mann seems to be hitting the right notes in the early season.

Last week, the 20-year-old Bowey earned his first professional points with a goal and an assist. He added another assist this week. The 21-year-old Djoos also got in on the action with his first goal of the season and an assist.

The Bears will need to continue getting offensive production from the blue line with the news that Jakub Vrana is expected to miss three to four months after undergoing wrist surgery. Vrana is tied for third on the team with six points.

RELATED: Is fighting on its way out of the NHL?

Other prospect notes:

After a slow start to the season, goalie Vitek Vanecek bounced back in a big way for the South Carolina Stingrays. He earned his first professional shutout on Sunday as he turned aside all 21 shots he faced in a 2-0 win over the Florida Everblades. That game followed another strong performance from Friday in which Vanecek saved 15 out of the 16 shots he faced.

In the college ranks, Brian Pinho had a career-high four points on Friday as he scored a goal and three assists to help lead Providence to a 7-2 win over Colgate. Thomas DiPauli also had a four-point night for Notre Dame on Sunday in a 8-2 win over UConn.

Shane Gersich returned for North Dakota over the weekend after a bout with mononucleosis. He made an immediate impact in his return, scoring a goal in both Friday and Saturday's game. 

MORE CAPITALS: Holtby shoulders blame for loss to Rangers

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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018 projection: Still too close to call in the Metropolitan Division


Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018 projection: Still too close to call in the Metropolitan Division

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are right around the corner and there is still a lot to be decided.

The Metropolitan Division is going to come right down to the wire as each team seemingly continues to win and put the pressure on the first place Capitals.

With just over two weeks remaining in the regular season, the playoff matchups for the first round of the NHL playoffs are still up in the air with only five points separating the top four teams in the Metro. Washington is in good position with a four-point cushion between themselves and the second place Pittsburgh Penguins. With both teams meeting on April 1, however, the Caps are still a long way off from clinching the division and earning home ice in the first round.


Metropolitan Division
1. Washington (93 points, 74 GP, 40 ROW)
W1. Philadelphia (88 points, 75 GP, 36 ROW)

2. Pittsburgh (89 points, 74 GP, 40 ROW)
3. Columbus (89 points, 75 GP, 36 ROW)

Atlantic Division
1. Tampa Bay (106 points, 74 GP, 45 ROW)
W2. New Jersey (82 points, 73 GP, 32 ROW)

2. Boston (100 points, 72 GP, 42 ROW)
3. Toronto (95 points, 74 GP, 37 ROW)

Still in the hunt:
Florida (81points, 72 GP, 34 ROW)


Washington has won only one out of four games against the Philadelphia Flyers this season. That's not an ideal first-round matchup for Washington, but there is still time for the Flyers to climb and overtake Columbus or Pittsburgh in the standings..

What seems unlikely to happen is for New Jersey or Florida to pass Philadelphia. While things remain close near the top of the standings, there seems to be a growing divide between the top-four teams in the Metropolitan Division and the two teams battling for the final remaining spot in the playoffs.

The Flyers may be in fourth place in the division, but they still boast a healthy six-point lead over the Devils who sit in the second wild card.

If we assume New Jersey and Florida will not be able to climb to any postseason position, but the second wild card, that makes the three most likely candidates to face Washington in the first round Pittsburgh, Columbus and Philadelphia.

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

Not much separated the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. A late 2-on-0 goal for Brett Connolly proved to be the difference.

Here's why the Caps ultimately walked away with the 1-0 win.

A first period goalie interference call

Andreas Athanasiou thought he had given the Red Wings a first period lead, but Barry Trotz challenged the call for goalie interference. The review showed that Tyler Bertuzzi clipped Philipp Grubauer in the head with an elbow right before the shot went in. Given how long it took the Caps to get going in this game, it is fair to say an early deficit would have been hard to overcome.


Killing off a full two-minute 5-on-3

Two man advantages are hard to kill. Killing off a full two-minutes at 5-on-3, that's a tall task. With the game still scoreless in the second period, T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller were both assessed penalties giving Detroit two-full minutes at 5-on-3. The Red Wings managed four shots on goal, but Washington was able to successfully kill off the penalty and keep the game scoreless.

Philipp Grubauer

There were few players who had strong efforts on Tuesday, but Grubauer was phenomenal. Even when the game felt sleepy in the first two periods, Detroit still managed 28 shots on goal, all of which were turned aside by the German netminder. When Washington finally took the lead in the third, the Red Wings woke up and began pushing the offense, but Grubauer was in the zone at that point and could not be beaten. His best save came in the third period when he stared down a breakaway from Athanasiou and extended the pad to deny the shot.