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USA Hockey 2014 Olympics - Part III

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USA Hockey 2014 Olympics - Part III

By Ben Raby
CSNwashington.com

With the Olympic torch lit, and the 2012 London Games well underway, CSNWashington.com is already looking ahead to the 2014 Sochi Games.

NHL player participation in the next Winter Olympics is still pending approval from the Board of Governors in the next CBA, but assuming that the best players in the world will be made available to the worlds biggest stage, the United States should be in the mix for another podium finish.

In the days ahead CSNWashington.com will examine USA Hockeys 2014 Mens Olympic roster position by position in a four part series.

In Part One on Thursday we handicapped USA Hockeys goaltending options for 2014. In Part Two on Saturday we examined the blueliners who may represent the U.S. in Sochi. Today in Part Three, we look at the forwards.

LOCKS:

DUSTIN BROWN (Los Angeles Kings): The second American to captain a Stanley Cup champion (and first since Derian Hatcher in 1999), Brown has emerged as one of the NHLs best leaders and two-way forwards.

Brown has also finished in the top three in the NHL in hits in each of the past six seasons and despite his physical play, the 27-year-old has remarkably has not missed a single game in each of the last four years. Brown has played in 266 consecutive games- the sixth longest active streak in the League.
Brown was an assistant captain at the 2010 Vancouver Games, and should be in the running to the wear the C in Sochi.

Brown has represented USA Hockey at seven international events including four World Championships (2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009).

RYAN CALLAHAN (New York Rangers): The Rochester, NY native grew up in a working class neighborhood and prides himself on playing a blue collar game in the NHL. Callahans 271 hits were fifth most in the League last season and his 88 blocked shots were third most among forwards.

Callahans efforts earned him his third straight Extra Effort Award given annually to the Ranger who goes beyond the call of duty.

The Rangers captain also finished with a career-high 29 goals and 54 points while captaining the Rangers to their first Eastern Conference regular-season title in 18 years.

Callahan, 27, last played for USA Hockey at the 2005 World Junior Championships.

PATRICK KANE (Chicago Blackhawks): No American has ever been taken first overall in the NHL Entry Draft and won both a Stanley Cup and an Olympic gold medal. Kane could become the first in 2014.

The 23-year-old already has five full NHL seasons under his belt, but his 66 points in 82 games last year were a career-low, while his 23 goals last season were his lowest total since he scored 21 times as a rookie.

Kane has represented USA Hockey at four international events including the 2010 Vancouver Games.

PHIL KESSEL (Toronto Maple Leafs): Kessel finished with career-highs and led all Americans with 37 goals and 82 points last season despite his playing without a true No.1 center with the Maple Leafs.

The 24-year-old has had difficulty living up the lofty expectations in Toronto (the fact that Toronto gave up two first-round picks to acquire him doesnt help), but Kessels hot start last season (he led the League in scoring through October) was as big a reason as any that the Leafs still found themselves in a playoff position in February.

Kessel has represented USA Hockey at eight international events including the 2010 Vancouver Games.

MAX PACIORETTY (Montreal Canadiens): Less than a year after a vicious hit from Bostons Zdeno Chara left Pacioretty with a broken vertebra and severe concussion, the 23-year-old finished with career-highs of 33 goals and 65 points in 2011-12.

His comeback last year was recognized at seasons end when he won the Bill Masterton Trophy which is awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies perseverance and dedication to the game of hockey.

Pacioretty has represented USA Hockey at two international events including the 2012 World Championships where he led the U.S. with 12 points in eight games.

ZACH PARISE (Minnesota Wild): Parise struck gold this summer when he signed a 13-year 98 million deal with the Wild, but the Minneapolis, MN, native remains in search of his first career Olympic gold medal.

Parise was among the most coveted free agents this summer and could emerge as the Americans No.1 center at the Sochi Games. The 28-year-old has developed into one of the best two-way centers in the game and he has scored at least 30 goals in each of his last five full seasons.

Parise has represented USA Hockey at seven international events including the 2010 Vancouver Games.

JOE PAVELSKI (San Jose Sharks): If Parise is in fact USAs No.1 center, Pavelski could be the man in the middle on the Americans second line.

Pavelski, 28, led the Sharks last season with a career-high 31 goals and was famously nicknamed a Swiss Army Knife due to his versatility by U.S. general manager Brian Burke in 2010.

He does a whole bunch of different things well, Burke said. You can use him in every conceivable manpower situation. You can use him on the power play. You can use him short. You can use him 4-on-3. You can use him 3-on-4. He works hard and has a high hockey IQ.

Pavelski last represented USA Hockey at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

BOBBY RYAN (Anaheim Ducks): Despite his teaming with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf in Anaheim to form one of the Leagues top trios, Bobby Ryans days with the Ducks appear numbered.

After trade rumors followed him throughout the season, Ryan acknowledged at seasons end that a change of scenery may be in his best interest.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder has emerged as one of the NHLs elite power forwards with great hands and foot speed. Ryans numbers speak for themselves with four straight 30-goal seasons.

Ryan last represented USA Hockey at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

PROBABLES:

DAVID BACKES (St. Louis Blues): Like Dustin Brown and Ryan Callahan, Backes is another American captain who plays a hard-nosed game that cant always be measured in numbers.

That said, his 24 goals were tops on a St. Louis team that won the Central Division for the first time in 12 years and his 54 points were tied for the team lead with fellow American T.J. Oshie. Backes was also a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded annually to the Leagues top defensive forward.

Backes has represented USA Hockey at four international events including the 2010 Vancouver Games.

RYAN KESLER (Vancouver Canucks): The only thing keeping Kesler from being a lock for the 2014 Sochi Games is his health.

After scoring a career-high 41 goals and winning the Frank J. Selke Trophy in 2010-11, the 27-year-old missed the start of last year after offseason hip surgery. The versatile two-way center is also expected to miss the start of the 2012-13 campaign as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery.

Kesler has represented USA Hockey at five international events, including the 2010 Vancouver Games.

JASON POMINVILLE (Buffalo Sabres): The Sabres captain has registered six straight 20-goal seasons while missing only nine games over those six years. He was also Buffalos leading scorer last season with 30 goals and 73 points while taking only six minor penalties.

Pominville was named to the 2012 NHL All-Star Game and has represented USA Hockey once before at the 2008 World Championships.

PAUL STASTNY (Colorado Avalanche): Colorados No.1 center has seen his offensive numbers drop in each of the past two seasons, but at 26-years-old his best hockey may still be coming.

Despite his Slovak roots from his father Peter and despite his having been born in Quebec City, Paul has chosen to the represent the U.S. when playing internationally.

The playmaking center with a strong hockey IQ has represented USA Hockey at three international events including the 2010 Vancouver Games.

IN THE MIX:

ERIK COLE (Montreal Canadiens): Montreals leading goal-scorer in 2011-12 partnered with Max Pacioretty to become the first American teammates to record 30 goals in the same season since Jason Pominville and Chris Drury did so with the Buffalo Sabres in 2006-07.

KYLE OKPOSO (New York Islanders): Okposo finished with a career-high 24 goals last season playing primarily with John Tavares and Matt Moulson on New Yorks No.1 line. With P.A. Parenteau having signed with Colorado, Okposo could see more scoring opportunities next year as well.

Okposo has represented USA Hockey at five international events including the 2009 and 2010 World Championships.

T.J. OSHIE (St. Louis Blues): In his fourth NHL season, Oshie had career-highs last year with 19 goals and 52 points (tied for the Blues team lead).
Oshie has represented USA Hockey at three international events including the 2009 and 2010 World Championships.

JAMES VAN RIEMSDYK (Toronto Maple Leafs): A broken foot limited the 23-year-old to 43 games last season but the former Flyers winger will have ample opportunity to rebound next year in Toronto.

The Maple Leafs acquired Van Riemsdyk with plans of converting him into the teams No.1 center where he would likely be flanked by Joffrey Lupol and potential U.S. teammate Phil Kessel.

LONG SHOTS:

David Booth (Vancouver Canucks), Nick Foligno (Columbus Blue Jackets), Brian Gionta (Montreal Canadiens), Chris Kreider (New York Rangers), Ryan Malone (Tampa Bay Lightning), Craig Smith (Nashville Predators), Drew Stafford (Buffalo Sabres), Derek Stepan (New York Rangers), R.J. Umberger (Columbus Blue Jackets), Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg Jets).

Which forwards do you think will represent the United States at the 2014 Sochi Games? Share your comments below. Check back on CSNWashington.com in the days to come for Part Four of our series on USA Hockeys 2014 Mens Olympic Team.

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Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin for Game 1

Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin for Game 1

As the Capitals and Penguins prepare to open their second-round series, significant injury news came out of Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Head coach Mike Sullivan informed the media that both Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin would not play in Game 1 due to injuries.

The fact that Hagelin would not be traveling with the team suggests that he will miss Game 2 as well, but that has not been confirmed. That also means that Malkin is at least a possibility for Game 2.

Malkin did not play in Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers after getting injured in a collision with Jakub Voracek in Game 5. Hagelin was injured in Game 6 on a big hit from Claude Giroux.

So when the series against Washington begins, Pittsburgh will be playing without two-thirds of its second line.

Malkin made a real push for the Hart Trophy this season with 42 goals and 98 points. He was a major factor in last season's Cup run with 28 points in 26 games and was gearing up for another big postseason with five points in his first five games.

But don't celebrate too much, Caps fans. It is not as if either loss will be crippling to Pittsburgh's offense.

Despite not having Malkin for the entire Game 6 and losing Hagelin midway through the second period, the Penguins still managed to put up eight goals on the Flyers in the series-clinching win.

Still, with scoring depth being such a strength for Pittsburgh, the Capitals need to take advantage. The Penguins will be without one of the best players in the NHL and that makes Game 1 crucial. Washington has gone down 0-2 in each of their past two playoff series including last year against Pittsburgh. They lost that series in seven games. They need to have a better start this year and with no Malkin or Hagelin for Game 1, this may be a must-win for the Caps.

Riley Sheahan and Dominik Simon skated with Phil Kessel on the second line at practice on Wednesday and it is a good bet that is how the second line will remain for Game 1. That way, Pittsburgh can keep its third line of Conor Sheary, Derick Brassard and Bryan Rust line together which has been very effective.

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NHL Playoffs 2018: Capitals vs. Penguins Game 1 Date, Time, How to Watch, live stream

NHL Playoffs 2018: Capitals vs. Penguins Game 1 Date, Time, How to Watch, live stream

Game 1 of the Capitals vs. Penguins 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff series is finally here.

The 2018 NHL Playoffs roll on and the two Metro division rivals will meet in the Eastern Conference semifinals for the third consecutive season.

Game 1 between the Capitals and Penguins will take place on Thursday, April 26 at Capital One Arena. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network at 7:00 p.m. ET.

The the dates and times for the remainder of the Capitals-Penguins series have yet to be released, but should happen shortly.

When the Penguins do take the ice in Game 1 of against the Capitals, they will be without Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin. Both players were ruled out of action on Tuesday afternoon. Malkin will travel to Washington, D.C. and might be available for Game 2. Hagelin is not traveling with the team.

You can stream Game 1 between the Capitals and Penguins on NBC Sports Washington using the NBC Sports App. Caps FaceOff starts our broadcast coverage at 6:00 p.m., with Caps GameTime at 6:30.

Following the end of Game 1 between the Capitals and Penguins, tune in to NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra at 9:30 p.m. ET and Caps OverTime at 10:00 p.m. Times subject to change. 

What: Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, Game 1. 2018 NHL Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals

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 GAME 1 OF CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS PLAYOFF SERIES?

Game 1 of the Capitals vs. Penguins 2018 NHL Playoff series takes place on Thursday, April 26, 7:00 p.m. at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS GAME 1 ON?

The TV broadcast of Game 1 between the Capitals and Penguins is on NBC Sports Network. Capitals pre- and postgame coverage takes place on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Penguins Game 1 on NBC Sports Network
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS GAME 1?

Game 1 between the Capitals and Penguins is available to stream online on Thursday, April 26 live here through the NBC Sports live stream page.

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS GAME 1?

Capitals projected Lines: TBD

Penguins projected Lines: TBD

CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS GAME 1 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.

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF COVERAGE:
Ultimate Capitals vs. Penguins Preview
Game 6 showed the Evolution of Ovechkin