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Journey to the Cup: Looking for the next Michal Kempny

Journey to the Cup: Looking for the next Michal Kempny

When the Capitals traded for a little-known defenseman from the Chicago Blackhawks at the trade deadline in 2018, it did not make many headlines. That player was Michal Kempny and that trade proved to be the most important trade of the NHL season.

For just a third-round draft pick, Washington acquired a player who would work his way onto the team’s top defensive pair with John Carlson. Without Kempny, it is fair to wonder if the Caps would still have been able to win the Cup.

General manager Brian MacLellan had made the flashy deadline move before, acquiring defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in 2017. That move did not pan out and the Caps ended up giving up a king’s ransom for a rental player and still ended up losing in the second round to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In 2019, MacLellan elected to go for the Kempny model of acquiring more low-cost, high-reward players to bolster the roster. For just a third-round draft pick and a conditional sixth-round pick, the Caps acquired a speedy, bottom-six forward in Carl Hagelin from the Los Angeles Kings. MacLellan even convinced the Kings to retain a portion of Hagelin’s salary. Washington also acquired defenseman Nick Jensen and a fifth-round pick from the Detroit Red Wings for Madison Bowey and a second-round draft pick. The price for Jensen seemed steep until it was announced soon afterward that Jensen had signed a four-year contract extension with the Caps.

The return so far has been promising.

Hagelin has become the team’s most important penalty killer and is an impact player whenever he is on the ice. The acquisition of Jensen now looms especially large following an injury to Kempny that will keep him out long-term.

Ultimately, however, these trades will be judged by how the players perform in the playoffs. The acquisition of Kempny helped get the Caps a Cup. How far will the team go with Hagelin and Jensen?

Check out Episode 5 of Caps Journey to the Cup or any of the previous episodes here.

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Capitals at Blackhawks Game 10: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

Capitals at Blackhawks Game 10: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

The Capitals are riding a two-game winning streak, and are looking to continue their winning ways as they start a five-game road swing.

Their first stop is Chicago against a Blackhawks team that has cracked .500 and is also riding their own two-game winning streak.

Whose streak will come to an end Sunday? Tune in to find out.

CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME 10: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals at Chicago Blackhawks

Where: United Center, Chicago, Ill.

When: Sunday, October 20, 7 pm.

TV Channel: Capitals-Blackhawks will be broadcast on NBC Sports. (NBC Sports channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Blackhawks on NBC Sports live stream page.

Radio: Caps Radio 24/7

CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS TV SCHEDULE:

6:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live

6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live

7:00 PM: Capitals @ Blackhawks (LIVE)

9:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live

10:00 PM: Caps Overtime Live

10:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live

CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS INJURY REPORT:

Capitals:

RW Richard Panik, upper-body injury, week-to-week

Blackhawks:

LW Jonn Quenneville, hip injury, day-to-day

CAPITALS AT BLACKHAWKS PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Michal Kempny, D, Capitals (1-0-1)

After returning to the Caps lineup against the New York Rangers Friday night, Kempny felt right at home, potting his first goal of the season. Kempny will look to beat up on the team that traded him back in 2018, and he's had success in the past against them.

Alex DeBrincat, F, Chicago (2-2-4)

Don't be fooled by DeBrincat's 5-7 frame. The shifty forward has a deadly release and notched 41 goals last season, second on the Blackhawks. In the last two seasons, he's also feasted on the Capitals, notching two goals and two assists.

Patrick Kane, R, Chicago (2-5-7)

He doesn't have the nickname "Showtime" for nothing. Kane led the Blackhawks in goals last season with 44, and leads the team in points this season.

CAPITALS at BLACKHAWKS SERIES HISTORY 

Number of all-time Meetings: 99

All-Time Series Record: 44-43-11-1

Last Meeting: Loss 8-5 (1/20/2019)

Last 10: Capitals lead 7-3

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T.J. Oshie puts on a memorable performance in 300th game as a Capital

T.J. Oshie puts on a memorable performance in 300th game as a Capital

300 games. 108 goals. 108 assists.

Just so you're tracking, those are T.J. Oshie's stats through 300 games as a member of the Washington Capitals.

In an outstanding 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers, Oshie scored two power play goals. It was the second time in his career that Oshie recorded two such goals.

Another shot on goal — he had four in the game — would have put him at a nice-and-even 620 during his tenure with the Capitals, but hey, we can't all be perfect.

The statistical-evenness is certainly satisfying, but even if you're not a fan of quirky stats, the man has logged 216 points in 300 games. That's pretty darn good.

T.J. Oshie will seek to continue putting up great numbers as the Capitals embark on a two-week road trip. Their first stop will be Sunday in Chicago for a showdown against the Blackhawks.

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