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Strong second period gives Caps the 5-2 win in Philly

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Strong second period gives Caps the 5-2 win in Philly

PHILADELPHIA -- Post-game analysis of the Capitals’ 5-2 victory over the Flyers Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center:

How it happened: Hours after putting Jason Chimera on the power play and asking him to drive the net, Barry Trotz saw his 36-year-old veteran left wing score two power-play goals by going hard to the net. T.J. Oshie also scored off an incredible behind-the-net feed from Evgeny Kuznetsov and Justin Williams added his third goal of the season in the Caps’ win. Nicklas Backstrom finished off the Flyers with a third-period snap shot off a nice feed from Marcus Johansson.  

What it means: The Caps improved to 11-4-0 and are now a perfect 4-0 after losses this season. They now have 22 points, four behind the Metro Division-leading Rangers and two ahead of the third-place Penguins. The Flyers have now lost eight of their last nine.

Ovi can’t catch a break: For the second time in three games Alex Ovechkin prematurely celebrated becoming the top Russian-born goal scorer in NHL history.

With 38 seconds remaining in the second period and the Caps on the power play, Ovechkin blasted a John Carlson pass past the glove side of Flyers goaltender Steve Mason. Ovechkin let out a primal scream and again took off his glove to raise his index finger in the air, repeating his premature celebration on Saturday night at Verizon Center when his historic goal was overturned because of a goalie interference call on Justin Williams.

This time, it was an offsides infraction by Williams that negated Ovechkin’s 484th goal. Replays accurately showed that Williams crossed the blue line ahead of the puck-carrying Jason Chimera and once again Ovechkin’s celebration was in vain.

Chim Dawg: Chimera also picked up an assist during his three-point night, but it might have been his restraint that most impressed Trotz. Early in the game, with the Flyers leading 1-0 on their first shot of the game, Chimera was driven into the boards by Flyers forward Ryan White, but did not retaliate.

Whack-a-White: Michael Latta got into his second fight of the season when he and White got into a second-period scrap. White’s head somehow got caught in his sweater and Latta allowed him time to pop his head back out so he could punch it some more.  

What’s next: Ovechkin’s next chance to move ahead of Sergei Fedorov will come Friday night at Verizon Center the Calgary Flames pay a visit. Catch all the action on CSN.

RELATED: Prospect Report: Galiev proving he's NHL ready

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Game 58: Capitals at Blackhawks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 58: Capitals at Blackhawks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Where: United Center, Chicago, Ill.

When: 8:30 p.m. ET

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

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

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

The Capitals (33-17-7) take on the Blackhawks (24-26-8) Saturday, February 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET in Chicago.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME ON?

The Capitals-Blackhawks game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 7:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 8:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 11:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 12:30 a.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

7:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
8:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:30 p.m. — Capitals at Blackhawks
11:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
12:30 a.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

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

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Brett Connolly - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Andre Burakovsky - Lars Eller - Alex Chiasson
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Jakub Vrana, Taylor Chorney

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

The Capitals-Blackhawks 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.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS 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.

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NHL Awards tracker: How Malkin is helping Ovechkin's case for the Hart

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USA TODAY Sports

NHL Awards tracker: How Malkin is helping Ovechkin's case for the Hart

A week by week look at where the race for the major individual NHL awards stands and which Caps could be in contention.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been red-hot as of late and so has Evgeni Malkin. In his last nine games, Malkin has tallied a whopping 11 goals and 17 points. His current run has some people talking about him contending for the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player.

But if you want to talk about Malkin for the Hart, you have to talk about Alex Ovechkin as well.

Malkin has 66 points this season, Ovechkin has 65. Even with his impressive goal run of late, Malkin still trails Ovechkin in the goal-scoring race 34-32. What's more, Ovechkin's Capitals still hold a three-point lead over Pittsburgh with two games in hand in the Metropolitan Division.

Granted all of this could change by next week. Perhaps Malkin will pass Ovechkin in goals or the Penguins will pass the Caps in the standings which will change the conversation. Until then, however, there's no way to push Malkin's Hart candidacy without thinking about Ovechkin. What he is doing at the age of 32 with a Capitals team in which no one really knew what to expect is more impressive than what the 31-year-old Malkin is doing with players like Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby with the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:

John Carlson

In contention for: Norris

Carlson is third among all defensemen with 45 points, but his case goes beyond the numbers. With two rookies on the blue line and an injury to Matt Niskanen, the Caps have asked a lot of Carlson this season and he has always been up to the task.

SEE THIS WEEK'S 2018 NHL AWARDS TRACKER HERE

Braden Holtby

In contention for: Vezina

Holtby is on pace to be a 40-win goalie for the fourth consecutive season. He would be the first goalie in NHL history to accomplish that feat.

Alex Ovechkin

In contention for: Hart

If Malkin is a Hart candidate, so is Ovechkin who has done more with less in Washington this season.

Barry Trotz

In contention for: Jack Adams

The Caps still hold a three-point lead in the Metropolitan Division despite having two rookies on the blue line, dealing with more injuries than they have seen in years and down offensive years for some of its top players. Trotz deserves a lot of credit for that.

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