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Holtby comes through, the power play heats up and the 'brobeans' reunite

Holtby comes through, the power play heats up and the 'brobeans' reunite

The Capitals' power play has been awful since December. On Thursday, it delivered Washington a big 3-2 road win over the Colorado Avalanche.

Check out a recap of the game here.

Observations from the win

More power

The Caps' power play has slowly and quietly been improving lately and was a major factor in the win. The turning point of the game was a high-stick drawn by Backstrom (more on that later) in which the Caps would score their first goal of the game. The second power play goal was the game-tying goal in the third period. Washington scored two goals on five opportunities and has been scoring at 24.1% since returning from the All-Star break.

Holtbeast

The Caps do not win this game without Braden Holtby's performance. Washington was totally dominated for the first half, and this game could have turned ugly if not for a big performance from Holtby who saved 32 of the 34 shots he faced.

The wait continues

Alex Ovechkin fired seven shots on goal, but remains at 698 career goals. The best thing the Caps did offensively in this game was not trying to force Ovechkin the puck as they have clearly been doing of late. That was especially evident on the power play, which scored twice, even with no goals from Ovechkin. The goals will come, but if you try to force Ovechkin the puck on a power play that was suddenly playing very predictably, it becomes that much easier to shut down.

Turning point

Washington was getting dominated to start this game. They were getting skated out of the building in the first period and looked like they barely touched the puck through the first half of the second. Then Backstrom took a high-stick from Tyson Jost and everything changed. Washington got sustained offensive pressure for the first time all game, and Backstrom scored on the resulting power play.

The three power plays the Caps drew in the second period settled the team down and put them back in it. A different team took the ice in the third.

Play of the game

Check out this sweet pass by Jakub Vrana to set up Backstrom on the backdoor.

Vrana is a great goal-scorer, but he is also a great distributor. Be honest, did you know that after Thursday's game, Vrana now has more assists (24) than goals (23) this season?

Stat of the game

The Caps are a hard team to put away.

Quote of the game

When the Caps went down 2-0 in the first period, some players addressed the team during the intermission. Backstrom was one of them.


Fan predictions

Well, let's look at some of the predictions and see...

Yep. Things got weird.

You get the prize for the most accurate prediction. Caps looked a lot better after the first half of the game and ultimately won 3-2.

What prize did you win? A Caps victory and two standings points.

The brobeans? Never.

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John Carlson is enjoying family time but gets glimpse of what his wife 'had to deal with' at home

John Carlson is enjoying family time but gets glimpse of what his wife 'had to deal with' at home

This time of year is typically one of the busiest times for a hockey player, especially for a team like the Washington Capitals. Had the season not been put on pause by the coronavirus, this would have been the first week of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That means a lot of travel, a lot of practice, a lot of games and not much time for family.

While stuck at home, John Carlson is taking full advantage of the extra time to just be a dad.

“Yeah, it’s interesting and great," Carlson said on a video conference Wednesday. "I think just being able to see what my wife’s had to deal with for the last couple months is pretty sobering, I would say. But, yeah, it’s fun to get to do a lot of things. Although we are quarantined to the house, it is fun to see them more. Hearing my name screamed around the house a lot more is fun."

Carlson and his wife are the parents of two boys: Lucca, who will turn 5 in June, and Rudy, who will turn 2 in May.

More family time is great, but it also comes with challenges. Those are difficult ages for kids to be stuck inside. Carlson noted he had to do his workout early in the morning or his kids would make it difficult.

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Findings ways to keep them occupied is a frequent struggle as well which is bad news for their Easter baskets.

"We've been doing our best trying to come up with as many activities as we can," Carlson said. "I think we're almost down to none of our Easter stuff that we got the kids just from pulling things out and trying to find some ways. It's been great to spend a lot of time with them, but it's a change."

As every parent knows, the days are long, but the years are also short. As exhausting and trying as it may be to try to parent with everyone stuck at home, Carlson knows this is time with his kids he would not have otherwise gotten.

While no one is happy about the coronavirus or how it has disrupted all of our lives, more time with the family is a blessing and is something Carlson is very thankful for.

"I think when we look back," Carlson said, "and hopefully this thing turns around and everything is going to be able to finish out like it was, it will definitely be a moment that I’ll remember, that I got to spend that much more time with them and see them kind of grow and turn into real human beings. It’s pretty special."

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Capitals' Nic Dowd and wife Paige host logo design contest for Autism Awareness Month

Capitals' Nic Dowd and wife Paige host logo design contest for Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month, and Capitals center Nic Dowd and his wife Paige are using their foundation, "Dowd's Crowd," to bring awareness to the cause through a logo design contest.

Dowd's Crowd, founded by the couple during the 2018-19 season, aims to make the sport of hockey more inclusive for people with autism, who often suffer from sensory overload. The foundation is creating sensory kits in conjunction with Autism Speaks, and the Dowds announced Wednesday that fans now can have a hand in creating the logo for drawstring backpacks included in the kits. Other items within the kit include noise-canceling earphones, sunglasses, a foam puck and a conversation card so that children with autism can enjoy a Caps game without experiencing sensory overload.

Interested participants should complete their design on a blank puzzle piece, which is the symbol for autism. The template can be found on the Capitals' website. Completed designs should be submitted via email to capscare@washcaps.com by May 1.

The winning design will not only be featured on the backpacks, but the designer will also win four tickets to a future Caps game, a meet and greet with the Dowds and 10 backpacks featuring their design.

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