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Can the Caps move on from an emotional win over Pittsburgh?


Can the Caps move on from an emotional win over Pittsburgh?

Monday’s Game 6 overtime victory in Pittsburgh will be a moment Capitals fans will savor for a long time.

For the first time in the Alex Ovechkin era, Washington defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in a playoff series.

But while the Penguins have always felt like the ultimate target for this Capitals team, a second-round win over Pittsburgh was never the ultimate goal.

With eight wins this postseason, Washington actually has only hit the halfway point in the quest for a Stanley Cup.

“I think you just look at it very simplistically and it's eight wins out of the 16 that you need,” Brooks Orpik said after practice Wednesday. “Getting halfway, I don't think anyone's satisfied with that.”

But how do you move on?

The Capitals just defeated the team that has tormented the franchise throughout its history and that has personally ended this team’s season for two straight seasons and three times in the Ovechkin era. In each of those three times, Washington had to watch as Pittsburgh would go on to win the Stanley Cup.

The emotion of the win was evident among the players in their celebration on the ice, in the fans as they celebrated throughout the city and in the face of Ovechkin.

How do you move on from such an emotional win and prepare to play team in which you have little history against?

The Caps aren’t worried.

“It was not really a celebration,” Alex Ovechkin said. “We just was happy. We’re going to celebrate when it’s over. I hope we’re going to win the Cup and then we’re going to be celebrating. But right now it’s just satisfaction we beat the Stanley Cup champions finally and we move forward.”

“If we had to play right away I think it might’ve been a little tough, but I think we had a big enough break that we can come back down to earth and really focus in on Game 1,” Braden Holtby said. “Really get it out of our system about winning in Pittsburgh and move on to what’s going to be an important series.”

Careful. You don’t want to get it all out of your system.

There’s something to be said about the momentum that comes from finally getting over that hump.

On paper, Tampa Bay Lightning has the better team. The Capitals, however, are going to be entering the series very loose and very confident. That can perhaps take them farther than many expect.

“We got a lot of demons out of the way,” Barry Trotz said.

“Last series was a big step for our group,” Matt Niskanen said. “We should be proud of that. It's a big achievement. But I think we've got to be greedy. We've got to want more because this is a heck of a run."




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Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

NBC Sports Washington/USATSI

Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

After lifting the Stanley Cup just over two months ago, something else very exciting has happened in Alex Ovechkin's life.

Saturday morning, Nastya and Alex Ovechkin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei, after Ovechkin's late brother. 

Ovi spent this week practicing at the Florida Panthers' facilities with other NHL players living in the surrounding area.

After the Cup's visit to Moscow, Nastya and Alex settled down at their apartment in Miami, staying put and preparing for the birth. 

The couple were married two years ago but didn't hold an official ceremony until July of last year. The celebration was as lavish as you'd expect.

She revealed her pregnancy shortly after the Cup victory, and has kept us up to date on life this summer via Instagram. A few weeks ago, the Ovechkins graced HELLO! Russia magazine, showing off Nastya's baby bump among their glamour shots.

💛 @aleksandrovechkinofficial #hello #hellorussia @hello__ru

A post shared by Nastasiya Ovechkina (@nastyashubskaya) on

Congratulations to Ovi and Nastya, and all our best wishes for health and happiness!


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Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan


Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

Say it ain't so.

Mitchell Gibson is the first goalie the Capitals have drafted since Ilya Samsonov in 2015, but they may be thinking twice about their selection after a recent shocking interview.

Gibson spoke with a local Philadelphia CBS station and revealed that both he and his family...are Flyers fans.

Insert dramatic music.

"I think my family will always be Flyers fans in their hearts and I guess I will be a little bit," Gibson admitted, hopefully with guilt in his voice.

Gibson was selected by the Caps in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, but clearly the scouts did not do their homework. It's as if Gibson grew up a hockey fan in a place like Phoenixville, Pa. (about an hour outside of Philadelphia) without anticipating the future that he may one day be drafted by a rival team like Washington.

Shame, shame.

The young netminder tried to make up for his horrifying admission later in the interview.

"The Capitals are definitely treating me well right now so I would like to be their goalie," he said.

A likely story.

Gibson is only 19 and set to begin his first collegiate season at Harvard in 2018 so at least there is still time for Gibson to overcome his shameful past. And hey, it could always be worse. At least he's not a Penguins fan.