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Caps vs. Jets: Ilya Kovalchuk to make his Caps debut against Winnipeg

Caps vs. Jets: Ilya Kovalchuk to make his Caps debut against Winnipeg

The new-look Capitals (38-18-6) will take the ice on Tuesday to host the Winnipeg Jets (32-27-5) in the first game after the NHL trade deadline. Catch the game broadcast and all pre and postgame coverage on NBC Sports Washington.

Pregame coverage begins at 6 p.m. with Caps FaceOff Live followed by Caps Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. bringing you up to the 7 p.m. puck drop. Stick with NBC Sports Washington after the game broadcast for postgame coverage with Caps Postgame Live, D.C. Sports Live and Caps Overtime Live.

Here is what you need to know for Tuesday’s game.

Kovalchuk’s debut

Ilya Kovalchuk will make his Capitals debut playing on the right side of the third line. He skated with the team for the first time at Tuesday’s morning skate and Todd Reirden will waste no time getting him into the lineup.

Here are the lines:

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Carl Hagelin - Lars Eller - Ilya Kovalchuk
Richard Panik - Nic Dowd - Garnet Hathaway

Brenden Dillon - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Nick Jensen
Michal Kempny - Radko Gudas

Also of note, Kovalchuk practiced on the second power play unit in the slot so expect to see him there for the game.

Let's get familiar

The Caps and Jets have not yet played each other this season, but they will settle all their affairs this week with a home-and-home to open and close the season series. These two teams will meet again in Winnipeg on Thursday. Sometimes knowing you are going to play the same team again the very next game can lead to a more contentious matchup than you would normally expect for two teams in different conferences.

These two teams split the season series last year with each team winning at home.

Holtby Starts

Braden Holtby will get the start following up his win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. With this being a home-and-home against the Jets, Ilya Samsonov will most likely get the start on Thursday in Winnipeg.

Back on track?

Sunday's win over the Pittsburgh Penguins was huge for Washington. It was a win over a rival, it vaulted the Caps back into first place of the Metropolitan Division and it snapped a four-game losing streak. It was the best game the team has played in a few weeks. The question now is if Sunday's game was a turnaround or if the Caps simply got up for a big game against a big rival?

If Washington comes in and limits the turnovers, the defense plays better, the offense is dangerous and getting traffic in front of the net and the breakouts are clean, then fans can breathe a sigh of relief that perhaps the bad times are finally over and the team is back on track. If the Caps come out and play like they have been lately with terrible turnovers and defensive gaffes and it becomes clear they have not yet turned things around, then they are in serious trouble. Time is running out for the team to get right this season and now there's not trade deadline for the team to lean on to perhaps fix whatever ails them.

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Kuznetsov tips in OT winner for Caps' 6th straight simulation win

Kuznetsov tips in OT winner for Caps' 6th straight simulation win

A two-goal rally for the Minnesota Wild forced overtime, but Evgeny Kuznetsov proved to be the hero for the Capitals in a 4-3 win in the latest NHL 20 sim. The win is Washington's sixth straight simulated win.

Result: Caps 4, Wild 3 OT

1st period

0-1 Wild goal: Joel Eriksson Ek from Mats Zuccarello and Zach Parise

2nd period

1-1 Caps goal: Jakub Vrana from Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie

2-1 Caps goal (power play): Evgeny Kuznetsov from Tom Wilson and Dmitry Orlov

3-1 Caps goal: Alex Ovechkin from Nick Jensen and Nicklas Backstrom

3rd period

3-2 Wild goal: Joel Eriksson Ek from Zach Parise and Ryan Suter

3-3 Wild goal: Alex Galchenyuk from Kevin Fiala and Mikko Koivu

Overtime

4-3 Caps goal: Evgeny Kuznetsov from Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson


How the Caps won

1. The second period

Minnesota held a 1-0 lead after the first, but Washington rallied to take control with three goals in the second period. Jakub Vrana got things started with a backhand goal off his own rebound less than three minutes into the second frame. Later in the period, Tom Wilson forced a kick-out save from goalie Devan Dubnyk and the rebound went right to Kuznetsov on the back door for the open net. Alex Ovechkin made it 3-1 with a breakaway goal.

2. Rebounds

This was not Dubnyk's best game. All three of Washington's regulation goals came off of rebounds and Dubnyk showed poor rebound control, giving the puck up in high-danger areas. Even on Ovechkin's breakaway goal, Dubnyk denied the initial opportunity but Ovechkin was able to grab his own rebound and backhand it in.

3. A critical faceoff

Kuznetsov won the opening faceoff to start overtime and that was it. That was the game. Kuznetsov would go on to score on that first shift to win the game as the Caps never gave up possession of the puck. They controlled it from the faceoff to the goal ensuring Minnesota never had an opportunity to win it.

Next game

The Caps were scheduled to play the Florida Panthers on the road Saturday. The game will be simulated with NHL 20 on NBC Sports Washington at 7 p.m.

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T.J. Oshie invites fan to Caps game after he made every NHL team's logo out of dominos

T.J. Oshie invites fan to Caps game after he made every NHL team's logo out of dominos

A young Caps fan who has spent the last week making all 31 NHL team logos out of dominos got a shoutout on Twitter and an invite to a game from his favorite player, T.J. Oshie. 

Alex, the 12-year-old behind this project, created a Youtube video which shows all of the domino creations in action. 

The video ends with Alex decked out in a Caps jersey talking about the hard work required to accomplish this feat. 

He also explains that Oshie is his favorite player and that he planned to see the Capitals play at home this season, but the pause on the NHL season caused a change in plans. 

Alex’s incredible work came to Oshie’s attention when his brother reached out to him on Twitter and linked Alex’s video. 

Not only did Oshie respond to Alex’s brother's tweet with praise, but invited the brothers to a Caps game when the season resumed. 

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