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After signing mammoth extension, Capitals' John Carlson weighs in on Todd Reirden and Michal Kempny

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After signing mammoth extension, Capitals' John Carlson weighs in on Todd Reirden and Michal Kempny

With the ink dried on his new contract, John Carlson said Monday morning that he wouldn’t mind seeing two other key cogs in the Caps’ championship run — Todd Reirden and Michal Kempny — get new deals, as well.

“I think guys have a lot of respect for Todd, and if that’s the case, then he’s going to do a great job,” Carlson said of Reirden, who is expected to interview with GM Brian MacLellan for the vacant head coaching position this week.

Carlson credited Reirden’s tutelage with helping him become a top defenseman in the game.

“From the moment that Barry [Trotz] and Todd got here, obviously Todd’s had the D, so I dealt more directly with him in terms of the little things and nuances of the game and just kind of formulating a plan to get better and how to achieve the goals I wanted to achieve,” Carlson said.

MacLellan has indicated that Reirden is the leading candidate to replace Trotz and, if things go well in the interview, he’ll get the job.

Although Carlson didn’t want to say much about the process, he did praise Reirden for his Xs and Os, his communication skills and his ability to get different personalities on the same page.

“I thought he was crucial for my career,” Carlson said, “and he just changed a few things [about] how I looked at the game, changed a few things with the D that I think really benefited everyone on D, and made it pretty clear what he expected of us and allowed us to go out there and do the rest.”

Carlson added: “I think he did a great job taking everybody for being different people and seeing things different ways. I just think he seemed to connect with everyone’s different personalities. I think he makes you look at the game a little bit differently. ... I think he’s been big for my career.”

Carlson also said that hiring Reirden would help the defending Stanley Cup champs pick up where they left off.

“I think that would be a lot easier of a transition,” he added.

As for re-signing Kempny, Carlson hopes his defensive partner also gets a new deal. After struggling to gain a foothold in Chicago’s lineup earlier this season, Kempny, 27, found a home skating alongside No. 74 after being acquired by Washington in February.

“I thought he was a great player,” Carlson said. “He made a huge impact on our team. When he got here, I thought we kind of started to play our best hockey maybe 10, 15 games after he got here, and then I thought he played awesome in the playoffs. He’s a great player, a great defender and he can skate. So that’s pretty much textbook what you want to have on your team and certainly, I think we play well together. That’s from my standpoint.”

Kempny can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

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Capitals vs. Rangers Game 9: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

Capitals vs. Rangers Game 9: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

The Capitals are back at home again Friday night for the third game in a row, this time to face the New York Rangers.

In their last time on the ice, Capitals won on the back of three goals in 78 seconds, dropping the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-2. Now they turn their attention to the Rangers, who they've beaten nine of the last 10 times they've played, dating back to the 2016-17 season.

The Rangers have revamped their roster a bit in the offseason and will put it to the test against the Capitals for the first time of the 2019-20 season on Friday night.

Here is everything you need to know about the Friday night game, which takes place at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington.

CAPITALS vs. RANGERS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers, Game 7 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season

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

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Capitals vs. Rangers game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals vs. Rangers on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM

CAPITALS vs RANGERS TV SCHEDULE

6:00 PM: Caps FaceOff Live

6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live

7:00 PM: Capitals vs Rangers

9:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live

10:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live

10:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live

CAPITALS vs RANGERS INJURY REPORT:

Capitals: Michael Kempny, D, is on injured reserve. Jonas Siegenthaler, D, is day-to-day after taking a big hit to his shoulder during Wednesday night's game. Richard Panik, RW, is day-to-day.

Rangers: N/A

CAPITALS vs RANGERS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Alex Ovechkin, F, Capitals (5 goals, 2 ppg, 32 shots): Ovechkin's quest for the all-time goal-scoring record is fully on. The seasoned veteran already has five goals this year, two of which have come on the power play.

John Carlson, D, Capitals (14 points, 3 goals, 11 assists): If Ovechkin is the finisher, Carlson is the set-up man. Carlson leads the team in points and assists with 14 and 11, respectively. The blueliner has three goals of his own, while four of his assists have come on the power play.

Mika Zibanejad, C, Rangers (8 points, 4, goals, 4 assists): Through three games, Zibanejad leads the Rangers in points, goals and assists. It's early in the season, but the veteran center is poised for another strong offensive output in the middle for the Rangers.

CAPITALS vs. RANGERS SERIES HISTORY

Number of all-time Meetings: 266 (51 postseason)

All-Time Series Record: Capitals lead 131-117-18

Regular Season Record: Capitals lead 107-90-18

Playoff Record: Capitals lead 28-27

Last Meeting: Caps win 3-2 in a shootout (3/3/18)

Last 10: Capitals lead 9-1

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Max Scherzer to drop puck at Friday's Caps-Rangers game

Max Scherzer to drop puck at Friday's Caps-Rangers game

Just when you think the D.C. connection between the Nationals and Capitals couldn't get any stronger, it does.

While the Nationals await the winner of the Astros and Yankees as to who they will play in the World Series, the city's first in 86 years, pitcher Max Scherzer will participate in the ceremonial puck drop prior to the Capitals and Rangers clash. 

During the Capitals 2018 Stanley Cup run, the Nationals were their biggest supporters. Scherzer and Ryan Zimmerman attended one of their Cup games against the Knights dressed up in Caps gear. They were awarded the fans of the game.

Now, the Capitals are returning the favor.

Earlier this postseason, the Capitals were heading to Nashville when the Nationals were set to play the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLDS. Each Caps player walked off the plane sporting a cursive 'Nationals' across their chest.

There's plenty of love between these two teams. The Nationals just hope their postseason ends the same way the Capitals' did a season ago.

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