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Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets bring drama to Washington to face the Caps

Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets bring drama to Washington to face the Caps

The Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets meet for third time this season on Saturday as the Blue Jackets come to town in snowy Washington (7 p.m, NBC Sports Washington). Here are four things you should be watching in Saturday’s game.

What’s up Bob?

The Blue Jackets did not skate Saturday so it is unclear who will start in net, but presumably Sergei Bobrovsky will get his first start since a mysterious incident that led to an unofficial one-game suspension by the team. Everyone says it’s water under the bridge and everyone is ready to move on, but you’ve got to wonder what his and the team’s mindset will be heading into Saturday’s game.

Will Bobrovsky be mentally ready for this game? Will he take out his frustrations on the Caps with a solid performance or will his mind be elsewhere on Saturday?

In two appearances against Washington this season, Bobrovsky was brilliant in the first as he held the Caps to just one goal on 34 shots in a 2-1 win. In the second performance, he lasted only one period after giving up three goals on 13 shots.

An opportunity for Travis Boyd

Todd Reirden has been stressing lately that there will be no more player rotation and that he intends to reward players who take advantage of their opportunities. To that end, Boyd will play right wing on the third line for the second straight game.

“He’s a pretty intelligent player,” Lars Eller said. “He can make some moves, makes plays. He’s trying to make plays when he has the puck. I like playing with him.”

With Andre Burakovsky being scratched for the second straight game, it seems like there is an opportunity here for the taking for Boyd if he can take advantage.

Powerless power plays

Since Dec. 15, Washington has scored only two power play goals on 37 opportunities. That’s the worst rate in the league at 5.4-percent. The second worst? Columbus who has managed only two goals on 26 opportunities for 7.7-percent.

I talked to several players after Saturday’s morning skate who expect a physical game given these are two heavier, hard-hitting teams. There should be plenty of opportunities for someone to break out on the power play.

The bad news is that during that same stretch, both teams have been fairly decent on the penalty kill. Columbus ranks fifth at 87-percent and Washington is 11th at 82.9-percent.

Revenge for December

The last time these two teams met, it was billed as a big-time matchup as both teams were vying for first place in the division. The Caps went into Columbus with a one-point lead over the Jackets meaning the winner would take first place in the standings.

The game was rather one-sided with Washington taking a 3-0 in the first period and cruising to the 4-0 win.

This is a Columbus team that needs to show it can deliver when it matters. It may not be the playoffs, but make no mistake, the Blue Jackets have something to prove heading into Saturday’s game.

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It’s official, Tom Wilson’s puppy Halle now has an Instagram account

It’s official, Tom Wilson’s puppy Halle now has an Instagram account

You should be used to seeing Capitals’ winger Tom Wilson’s puppy Halle by now, but you’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future. 

The black lab mix officially has an Instagram account and it’s the cutest thing that you’ll ever see.

Her favorite things are pine cones and digging holes and the account features some adorable content.

From the first day that Halle met her momma Taylor Pischke. 

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The day I met my new fur momma ❤️

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To what looks to be one of her first baths.

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Instagram vs. Reality #nationalpuppyday

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And even serving two minutes in time out. C'mon just look at those puppy eyes. 

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Serving two minutes in the sin bin #unsportsmanlikeconduct

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The Instagram account is run by her furparents of course. 

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How former Capital Joel Ward helped Brenden Dillon adjust to life in the Washington area

How former Capital Joel Ward helped Brenden Dillon adjust to life in the Washington area

When trying to adjust to life in a new city, it can be nice to have a familiar face around to help you. That’s exactly what Brenden Dillon had after he was traded to the Capitals in Joel Ward.

Dillon was acquired by Washington on Feb. 18. In just his third game with the team, former Cap and San Jose Shark forward Joel Ward participated in the ceremonial puck drop prior to the Capitals Black History Game on Sunday, Feb. 23.

Dillon and Ward were teammates in San Jose for three seasons from 2015 to 2018. Dillon credited Ward for helping him get acclimated to Arlington, Va. and the Washington area.

“There's a bunch of great restaurants and walking around areas,” Dillon said in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Brodie Brazil. “I was pretty fortunate when Joel Ward actually did the drop the puck for I think it was either my second or third game as a Capital. He kind of gave me a bit of the lay of the land while we were out here, showing me some of his little hidden gems from when he played. Obviously Wardo and I have a great relationship so it was nice to have a familiar face for the first few days.”

Ward spoke glowingly of Dillon following his puck drop so it should come as no surprise that he was willing to help out his former teammate.

“He's a true pro,” Ward said of Dillon. “He's an unbelievable human being. I think he's probably one of the nicest guys I've come across in my hockey days, to be honest with you. He's just a humble guy that wants to work and learn.”

The extra help in finding the right places to eat has certainly paid off. Dillon remained in the hotel in Arlington with the season on pause until just this past week and had to rely heavily on take out.

“I've been walking around and grabbing some to go,” Dillon said. “If you ever need good pick up options in Arlington, Va. or the D.C. area for food, I'm your guy.”

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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