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Power play fails Caps in loss to Flyers

Power play fails Caps in loss to Flyers

The Capitals had their opportunities, but failed to score on five power plays and gave up a shorthanded game-winning goal in a 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday. Nicklas Backstrom and Jakub Vrana gave Washington a 2-1 lead in the first, but that would be all the offense the team could muster on the night.

Here is how the Caps lost.

A horrible turnover for Jensen

Nick Jensen will want to forget about the start of this one. Trying to skate the puck out of the defensive zone, Sean Couturier approached Jensen on the forecheck and Jensen just lost control of the puck. Couturier passed to Travis Konecny who was alone on net and he hit the corner of the net for the early 1-0 lead.

An Oshie screen

Nicklas Backstrom and Jakub Vrana gave Washington the 2-1 lead, but Robert Hagg tied the game late in the first.

Hagg took a long-distance slap shot that managed to beat Holtby. Dealing with a screen from T.J. Oshie who was trying to block the shot, Holtby leaned left to get a better view. The shot, however, game to his right and appeared to graze Oshie's leg going over Holtby's right shoulder.

A bad decision by Kuznetsov

Late in the second with the score still tied, the Caps had a chance to take the lead as Sean Couturier was called for slashing Nick Jensen. Instead of taking the lead, however, Washington gave it up with a shorthanded breakaway goal for Kevin Hayes.

The play was set up by a poor decision from Evgeny Kuznetsov. He skated the puck into the offensive zone, wheeled around to the wall and decided to pass the puck back to John Carlson. The problem was that Carlson was not yet in the offensive zone and was covered. He had to hustle to get to the puck before it left the zone, but Scott Laughton was on top of him and he had nowhere to go with the puck. He tried to send it back to Kuznetsov along the boards, but it was picked off by Hayes who took it in for the breakaway goal.

It was a turnover by Carlson, but he was completely handcuffed by the pass.

The power play

Washington had a chance to take the game over in the second period with three power play opportunities, but they failed to score on any of them and gave up the shorthanded go-ahead goal to Hayes.

Philadelphia took an additional two penalties in the third period with the Caps trailing by one, including a Philippe Myers trip with less than six minutes remaining in the game and still Washington could not take advantage.

The power play looks completely disjointed and, unlike last year, you can't blame it solely on the drop pass. The issue is not getting into the offensive zone, it is the setup. They are making poor reads, reacting slowly and really struggled to threaten Carter Hart.

Puck management

This was a sloppy game. Jensen had perhaps the most egregious turnover, but his was far from the only one. This was a sloppy game. There were turnovers galore and poor passes.

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NHL, NHLPA finalize protocols for the 2020 postseason

NHL, NHLPA finalize protocols for the 2020 postseason

At long last, the NHL and NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) have agreed on the protocols under which the season can formally resume. The news was first reported Sunday by TSN's Bob McKenzie. The details of a new CBA that has been negotiated as part of the NHL and NHLPA's efforts to bring back hockey, however, is still being finalized. Hockey cannot resume until both the protocols for 2020 and the new CBA memorandum of understanding are ratified by the league's board of governors, the NHLPA's executive committee and a full membership vote by the players.

The full details of the protocols have not been formally released, but aspects have been leaked over the past week as both sides inched closer to an agreement. As expected, any player will have the option of opting out of Phase 3 (training camp) and Phase 4 (resumption of the season) without penalty, but the player must notify the team by July 7.

Teams will also be limited to 30 skaters in Phase 3 with an unlimited number of goalies. In Phase 4, that number goes down to 28 skaters and an unlimited number of goalies so presumably this should not be an issue for most teams. It does, however, allow two extra players in case a team is caught off guard by a player opting out.

In addition, Frank Seravalli reported players' families will be allowed to join the players for the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final which will take place in Edmonton. Elliotte Friedman also reported there will be significant punishments for individuals who try to leave the bubble.

The league formally paused its season on March 12. Since that time, the remainder of the regular season was canceled and the postseason re-structured to include 24 teams. Two round-robin tournaments will take place among the top four teams in the East and West to determine seeding while the remaining teams will all play a best-of-five play-in round. From there, the playoffs will begin with all four remaining rounds being a best-of-seven and with teams being reseeded after each round to determine matchups.


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Remembering the highlights of each of the Capitals' American players

Remembering the highlights of each of the Capitals' American players

The Capitals have a superstar Russian, an incredible Swedish center, a Canadian netminder, but the team also boasts several American players as well. On the 4th of July when American celebrate the birth of our nation, lets put down the barbecue, apple pie and fireworks for a few minutes to remember some of the top highlights from each of the team's Americans.

Travis Boyd: 4 goals for Hayden

In Feb. 2018, Boyd turned hardship into an inspirational moment. While with the Hershey Bears, Boyd's daughter, Hayden, developed a serious infection and had to go to the hospital. Boyd went with her on a Sunday and did not leave until Friday morning to prepare for that night's game, a game in which he would score four goals.

John Carlson: The golden goal

Carlson has numerous highlights from his career with the Caps, but on Indepence Day it seems only fitting to look back at his biggest goal for his country. Carlson represented Team USA in the 2010 World Junior Championships which was hosted by Canada that year. USA made it all the way to the final where the played the host nation. Tied at 5 through regulation, Carlson scored the golden goal off a 2-on-1 as he caught the goalie leaning anticipating the pass.

Nic Dowd: Historic penalty shot

In Game 5 of the Caps' series against the Carolina Hurricanes in 2019, Nic Dowd was slashed by defenseman Dougie Hamilton while he was in alone on goalie Petr Mrazek. Dowd was awarded the first penalty shot of his career and he delivered, dekeing right to open up Mrazek's pads and tucking the puck through the 5-hole. In addition to being his first penalty shot goal, the goal was also Dowd's first-career playoff point.

The goal also had some historic significance for the team as it was Washington's first ever playoff penalty shot goal.


Garnet Hathaway: Shows his toughness against the Rangers

On Oct. 18, the Caps hosted the New York Rangers and it proved to be an pretty epic night for Hathaway. He was knocked out of the game in the second period with a broken nose after a big hit from Jacob Trouba, came back in the third, drew a cross-check, fought Brendan Smith (again, with a broken nose), the Caps scored on the resulting power play and Hathaway returned to score the empty-netter.

That’s a pretty unbelievable game.

Nick Jensen: Assisting on goal No. 700

Jensen has been with the Capitals for about a year and a half, but he will forever be linked to the team's greatest franchise player thanks to one assist.

Against the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 22, Jensen grabbed a loose puck behind the offensive goal line and sent it back behind the net to keep the offensive cycle going. That allowed Evgeny Kuznetsov to find Alex Ovechkin who scored career goal No. 700.

T.J. Oshie: T.J. Sochi

Who could forget about Oshie's incredible performance at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi?

Playing against Team Russia, USA leaned heavily on Oshie in the shootout. He would score four times on goalie Sergei Bobrovsky as USA walked away victorious.

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