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With regular season winding down, Caps recall a couple of prospects

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USA TODAY Sports

With regular season winding down, Caps recall a couple of prospects

Travis Boyd and Madison Bowey were recalled by the Caps on Tuesday to add some depth to the bottom end of the roster as the team wraps up its regular season.

Boyd, who has appeared in seven games for Washington this season, figures to join a group of forwards competing for roles on the third and/or fourth lines as the playoffs approach.

Boyd also gives Coach Barry Trotz another option at fourth line center. On Monday night in St. Louis, Stephenson filed in for Jay Beagle, who is day-to-day with an upper body ailment.

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Trotz said he likes the internal competition that’s brewing as he searches for the right mix.  

“Obviously, our core players know that they are going to be in [the lineup come playoffs],” Trotz told reporters at Scottrade Center. “But we’ve got a lot of new players. We’ve got a lot of guys that want to be part of the playoffs. They are pushing each other. They know if they get an opportunity to jump in the lineup, they just want to stay there.”

He added: “We’re getting some good looks at guys. The guys I keep putting in and taking out, they have responded every night, it seems. Young [Shane] Gersich is making a case for himself every time. We’ll probably run with him the next two games. He’s done a really good job.”

The Caps were off on Tuesday. Boyd and Bowey will join the team for practice on Wednesdaymorning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

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It’s unclear if either prospect will suit up Thursdayvs. the Predators, but one or both could play if the team, which has already clinched the Metro Division title, opts to rest any of its veterans. The Caps out their 82-game slate at home against Nashville and New Jersey.

As for Bowey, he spent 51 games in Washington this season but was returned to the Bears following the additions of Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek near the trade deadline. In eight games with Hershey, Bowey thrived, recording a couple of goals and six assists. A right shot, he also gives the coaching staff another option on the right side.

It’s expected that both Boyd and Bowey will remain with the Caps until their season ends.

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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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A return six months in the making for defenseman Michal Kempny

A return six months in the making for defenseman Michal Kempny

It took six months of toil and effort for Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny to make it back to an NHL game. 

He last played March 20 when a torn hamstring in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning ended his season just a few weeks before the Stanley Cup playoffs began. That was brutal. 

A spring to heal after surgery, a summer to rehab the injury and weeks getting back in hockey shape were the steep price paid. And then it took him all of 15 minutes to score his first goal on Friday in a game against the New York Rangers. Welcome back, Michal. 

“I felt pretty good, actually. My legs felt good,” Kempny said. “Obviously not an easy situation for me. But I got to say just thank you to all of the staff, whole organization, my teammates, my family, my friends who were supporting me all the way through here and help me. It means a lot to me.”

It was an organizational project. Kempny meant so much to Washington during its Stanley Cup run of 2018. The Capitals felt his absence on the top pair with John Carlson during the first-round series loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. 

Washington coach Todd Reirden credited team trainers Jason Servis and Mike Booi and strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish with putting Kempny in position to return early in the season.  

“Six months of investment of their time to get him back,” Reirden said. “I thought Michal looked really good.”

The goal came at 15:16 of the first period and gave Washington a 2-1 lead. Kempny jumped onto a loose pucked batted around by teammate Alex Ovechkin, quickly corralled it and beat Henrik Lundqvist for the goal. It was a pretty play and another indication that Capitals' defensemen are taking chances when they see them on the offensive end. 

In his first game back, Kempny had 14:24 of ice time. That’s about the goal the Capitals had in mind for him. He started on the third pair with fellow Czech Radko Gudas, but also played 3:42 with Carlson, who mobbed Kempny after his goal and gave him a celebratory facewash with his glove. They’re happy to have him back. 

“I just grab the puck and there was open net, so a little lucky for me,” Kempny said. “I was just excited.”

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