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Caps earn first-ever season sweep of Rangers thanks to Alex Ovechkin’s bizarre shootout goal

Caps earn first-ever season sweep of Rangers thanks to Alex Ovechkin’s bizarre shootout goal

The Capitals were again taken down to the wire by the New York Rangers, but Alex Ovechkin won in a shootout as Alex Georgiev threw his stick on Ovechkin's attempt giving him the automatic goal and the 3-2 win.

Here are five reasons the Caps won.

A quick response

For the fifth straight time, Washington gave up a goal in the first four minutes of the game as Ryan Strome scored just 45 seconds in. Luckily for Washington, they did not trail for very long.

Carl Hagelin took a puck along the wall and tried to cut toward the net and backhanded a pass to the middle. The pass was blocked by a sliding Libor Hajek, but Georgiev had already slid off the post in anticipation of the pass. The blocked puck came right back to Hagelin who fired the quick shot to the empty space Georgiev had left open.

The goal came just 1:18 after Strome’s quick goal.

Todd Reirden’s lineup change

Reirden used the same players from Friday’s win over the New York Islanders, but there was one small change to the lineup. Up to the third line was Hagelin while Andre Burakovsky moved down to the fourth. Reirden had made that switch in the third period of Friday’s game and he stuck with it for Sunday. The move quickly paid off.

Hagelin scored just 2:03 into the game and Andre Burakovsky added a goal of his own at 10:02. Burakovsky entered the zone along the right, cut to the middle and waited for Nick Jensen to plant himself right in front of the face of Alex Georgiev.

Dominant possession

For the second straight game, Washington completely dominated possession with a 59.76-percent Corsi-For percentage.

The second period was particularly dominant for Washington as they outshot the Rangers 20-7. The difference for New York was Georgiev. He robbed Ovechkin, preventing him from getting goal No. 46 on the season as he stretched out the blocker just in time to keep the shot out. He also had a kick save late in the third to deny Tom Wilson right on the doorstep and another big save to deny an Ovechkin breakaway in overtime.

If not for Georgiev, the Caps could have and should have been running away with this game through 40 minutes.

Braden Holtby

Holtby was not nearly as tested as his counterpart Georgiev, but when he was, he came up big. Holtby made an incredible save off the mask to deny a wide-open Pavel Buchnevich on overtime. He finished the game with 22 saves on 24 shots and also stopped two out of four shots on the shootout, making a nice glove save on Mika Zibanejad.

A thrown stick

Ovechkin had a chance to win the game in the shootout. He skated in on Georgiev, deked and looked like he had Georgiev beat. Georgiev then let go of his stick and it slid to knock the puck off the stick of Ovechkin denying him the shot. Ovechkin immediately protested and the referees discussed the play. Originally, the referees decided it was a failed opportunity for Ovechkin, but the horn soon blew from Toronto. After further discussing things with the war room, the goal was correctly awarded giving the Caps the 3-2 win.

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Capitals at Devils: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

Capitals at Devils: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

After suffering a tough defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightening, the team with the NHL's best record, on Saturday, the Capitals (42-23-7) look to get back on track on Tuesday against the struggling New Jersey Devils (27-37-9).

Although the Devils have totaled the least amount of points of any team in the Metropolitan Division, they have won two of their last three contests.

The two teams faced off just over a couple weeks ago, when Washington shutout the Devils, 3-0, on March 8. Holtby had 25 saves in the Capitals' victory.

Here's how to tune in to Capitals-Devils on Tuesday. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

CAPITALS AT DEVILS: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. New Jersey Devils, Game 73 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season

Where: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey

When: Tuesday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Capitals at Devils game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. (Channel Link)

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals at Devils 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 AT DEVILS TV SCHEDULE

6:30 PM: Caps FaceOff Live
7:00 PM: Caps Pregame Live
7:30 PM: Capitals at Lightning Live
10:00 PM: Capitals Postgame Live
10:30 PM: Capitals Overtime Live

CAPITALS AT DEVILS INJURY REPORT

Capitals: N/A
Devils: Egor Yakovlev, upper body: TBD against Capitals. Nick Hischier, upper body: TBD against Capitals. Nathan Bastian, upper body, TBD against Capitals. Pavel Zacha, upper body, TBD against Capitals. Miles Wood, ankle, TBD against Capitals.

CAPITALS AT DEVILS SERIES HISTORY

Number of all-time meetings: 209 games

All-time series record: Caps lead the all-time series 106-90-13

Last Meeting: March 8, 2010: Caps beat Devils 3-0.

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Capitals sign heralded Virginia native Joe Snively to entry-level contract

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Capitals sign heralded Virginia native Joe Snively to entry-level contract

With a thin core of forward prospects, the Capitals looked locally and announced the signing of Herndon, Virginia native Joe Snively on Monday to a two-year, entry-level contract beginning in the 2019-20 season.

Snively, 23, is an undrafted free agent who played the last four years for Yale in the NCAA. He led the team in all four seasons. He scored 15 goals and 36 points in 33 games in his senior season. His skillset reportedly caught the eye of several other NHL clubs, but he elected to sign with his hometown team.

Snively is an alum of the Washington Little Capitals, the local youth hockey program based at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. He played junior hockey in the USHL with the Sioux City Musketeers tallying 64 points in 55 games.

“Obviously a unique situation with a local kid, which is phenomenal,” Todd Reirden said. “But it's very competitive to sign those free agents out of college, and we're fortunate to be able to add someone (who's) almost like a free player.”

Snively is not eligible to play with the Caps this season, so do not expect him to suit up in red anytime soon. Washington is at its maximum number of contracts with 50, which is why Snively’s contract is set to start for the 2019-20 season. He could, however, potentially play in Hershey on a tryout agreement.

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