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Talks between Caps and Holtby stuck in neutral

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Talks between Caps and Holtby stuck in neutral

While Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan was able to come to terms with restricted free agents Philipp Grubauer and Nate Schmidt this week, he does not appear to be any closer to locking up the biggest piece of the Caps’ free-agent puzzle – goaltender Braden Holtby.

Reached at his summer cottage on Friday, Holtby’s agent, David Kaye, was asked if there is any progress to report between the Caps and their 25-year-old netminder.

“Nothing’s changed so far,” Kaye said, declining to comment further.

Back on May 28, Kaye confirmed he had discussions with the Capitals on an extension for Holtby.  

As a restricted free agent Holtby must be tendered a qualifying offer of at least $2 million [100 percent of his 2014-15 salary] by June 25 if he is not signed before then.

Ranked second among NHL starters in playoff goals-against average [1.71] and save percentage [.944], Holtby said he would prefer a long-term commitment from the Capitals.

Since he is two years away from unrestricted free agency the Caps have a little leverage, which could keep Holtby’s cap hit in the $5 million to $6 million range.

Holtby’s contract promises to be the largest handed out by the Caps this summer and will go a long way in determining how much room they will have under the NHL’s estimated $71 million salary cap.

The Caps currently sit at roughly $51 million with seven forwards, six defensemen and two goaltenders [Grubauer and Justin Peters] under contract. That mans they have roughly $20 million to spend on a restricted free agent group that includes Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Marcus Johansson, Stanislav Galiev, Chris Brown and Patrick Wey, and an unrestricted group that includes forwards Joel Ward, Jay Beagle, Eric Fehr and Curtis Glencross and defensemen Mike Green, Tim Gleason and Cam Schilling.

[Defenseman Tomas Kundradek, who played 30 games for the Caps from 2011-13, has signed a one-year deal with Dinamo Riga of the KHL.]

If Holtby, Kuznetsov and Johansson cost the Capitals about $12 million in cap space, it would leave them with an estimated $8 million [$9 million if Peters is in the minors] to sign a minimum of three forwards and one depth defenseman.

Galiev and Brown are likely to receive two-way contract offers and Wey is on the bubble.

As for possible buyouts, while NHL forwards Matt Cooke and Adam Burish have been placed on waivers with the intention of receiving buyouts from their teams, the Caps have not opted to do so. Teams have until June 30 at 5 p.m. to offer buyouts, in which a player would need to pass through waivers before accepting the buyout.

MORE CAPITALS: End of season review: Tom Wilson

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Game 5 Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 5 Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Alex Ovechkin said the Caps would return to Washington with a tied series. The Caps captain is a man of his word as the Caps won both Game 3 and Game 4 to even up the series at two games apiece.

John Tortorella had no answers after seeing his Columbus Blue Jackets fall in Game 4, but he will have to figure things out quickly as the series shifts back to Washington for a pivotal Game 5.

The Caps return home with two straight wins and all the momentum. There's just one problem: No one seemingly can win at home.

What: Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, Round 1, Game 5

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

When: 3:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 will be broadcast on NBC.

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 on NBC Sports' live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

The Capitals take on the Blue Jackets in Game 5 on Saturday, April 21 at 3:00 p.m. ET in Washington. The series is tied 2-2.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME ON?

Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 will be broadcast on NBC. Coverage kicks off on NBC Sports Washington with Capitals FaceOff at 2:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 2:30 p.m. Tune back to NBC Sports Washington after the game for Caps Extra and Caps Overtime at 6:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

2:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
2:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
3:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Blue Jackets on NBC
5:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
6:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

Capitals-Blue Jackets Game 5 is available to stream live here through the NBC Sports live stream page.

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

Here are the Caps' projected lines:

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

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos

Braden Holtby with Philipp Grubauer as backup.

Scratches: Travis Boyd, Andre Burakovsky (upper-body), Shane Gerisch, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS 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.

SEE THE CAPITALS VS. BLUE JACKETS FULL SERIES SCHEDULE HERE

CAPITALS SCHEDULE

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Now it's a series

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Now it's a series

The Caps looked to be in real trouble after blowing leads and losing in overtime in both Game 1 and Game 2.

After two straight wins, however, Washington is in control against the Columbus Blue Jackets as the series returns to Washington, D.C. for Game 5. 

On the latest eipisode of the Capitals Faceoff Podcast, JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir talk about what changed for the Capitals between Game 2 and 3, as well as resetting their series predictions.

And as always, they answer several viewer questions.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page