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With the season all over, Capitals finally have time to heal

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NBC Sports Washington

With the season all over, Capitals finally have time to heal

ARLINGTON — The Stanley Cup playoffs take a physical toll and the Capitals had their share of players fighting injuries as they tried to advance in the first round past the Carolina Hurricanes. 

Jakub Vrana was held pointless in the series, but admitted he was dealing with an injury. He just wouldn’t say what it was – though he was seen repeatedly with an ice pack around his left shoulder during the playoffs. 

“I could play,” was all Vrana would allow. 

No one wanted to use injuries as an excuse. Carolina played parts of the series, which it won in double overtime of Game 7, without three key forwards.

Defenseman Michal Kempny didn’t even get a chance to participate. He tore his left hamstring in a March 20 regular season game against Tampa Bay. A key member of last year’s championship team had to watch his teammates fight on without him. 

“Honestly, it was really tough for me. It took me a while and I got over it,” Kempny said. “But you can't do anything, right? It is part of hockey and things like that happens. So I had to deal with it.”

Kempny remains on crutches for now. He has to take his rehabilitation slow . Even putting weight on the leg and walking again will take some time. He should be ready for training camp, however.

T.J. Oshie, meanwhile, appeared in three playoff games before a push from Carolina forward Warren Foegele slammed him into the boards at full speed. He sustained a broken clavicle. Oshie wasn’t happy about the hit, but is ready to heal. He was even hoping to return to the ice if the Capitals made it deep into the playoffs much to the chagrin of the team's medical staff. That just didn’t happen. There is no timeline for his recovery, but Oshie doesn't expect the injury to hamper his summer workouts.   

“[The doctors] know how excited I get to try to beat recovery times so they didn’t give me one, but I was pretty lucky,” Oshie said. “It’s not like a separated shoulder or something that really takes a lot of rehabbing. It’s just the bone and plate have to heal and I’ll be good to go and have a nice full summer of workouts.”

Other players battling injuries were center Lars Eller and Nicklas Backstrom. Eller’s upper-body injury happened just before the playoffs. Backstrom also had an upper-body injury he would not disclose. Neither player was sure if they would play for their home countries - Denmark or Sweden - in the IIHF World Championships starting May 10. 

 “I've been battling something. Something that's been bugging me,” Eller said. “A little bit of rest these next couple of weeks. Just have to take care of it. It doesn't require surgery, it's nothing serious, just with some rest over time, it will be fine, I believe.”

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T.J. Oshie meets up with Seattle Jr hockey players after game in Arizona

T.J. Oshie meets up with Seattle Jr hockey players after game in Arizona

Despite a 3-1 loss to the Coyotes as the Capitals continue their west coast swing, there was one good thing to come out of Saturday night.

Even after a disappointing game, T.J. Oshie took some time to visit with a young group of hockey players from the Seattle Jr Hockey Association, a minor hockey league located in the Pacific Northwest. The team happened to be in town as they participated in a travel tournament.

While this is already enough to make one smile, there's a deeper connection between Oshie and the SJHA that makes it even better. Oshie, who grew up in Washington, got his start in hockey playing in the same league as the kids he visited with. With them being in Phoenix, Oshie got the surprise opportunity to re-connect with his humble beginnings and make some young hockey players very happy.

The Caps performance on Saturday didn't give many reasons to feel good, but this moment provided by Oshie is something that will cheer anyone up.

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Capitals at Golden Knights: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream

Capitals at Golden Knights: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream

The Washington Capitals continue their road trip, heading to Vegas looking for recover from an 3-1 attack to Antti Raanta and the Arizona Coyotes Saturday night. 

While the Caps look for a win, Alex Ovechkin looks to make history, joining the 700 goal club. Ovi currently sits just two goals short at 698 goals and has not scored a goal in four straight games now but that can change in no time. 

The Caps will face Marc-Andre Fleury and the Golden Knights on Monday night at 6 p.m. Fleury earned the victory in the net for Vegas after collecting 19 saves in their shut out game over New York Islanders. The Golden Knights have won their last two games by one goal. 

Here is everything you need to know about the Monday night game, which takes place at 6:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington. 

CAPITALS at GOLDEN KNIGHTS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals at Golden Knights, Game 59 of the 2019-20 NHL Regular Season

Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV 

When: Monday, February 17 at 6:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Capitals at Golden Knights game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder Link)

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals at Golden Knights on NBC Sports live stream page and on the MyTeams App.

Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM

CAPITALS at GOLDEN KNIGHTS TV SCHEDULE

5:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live

5:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live

6:00 PM: Capitals at Golden Knights

7:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live

9:00 PM: Caps Overtime Live

10:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live

CAPITALS at GOLDEN KNIGHTS INJURY REPORT

Capitals: Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, Upper body, day-to-day

Golden Knights: Alex Tuch, RW, Leg, Week-to-week

CAPITALS at GOLDEN KNIGHTS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Alex Ovechkin, LW, Capitals (40-17-57): Sitting at 698 goals, Ovi remains on the brink of making history with 700 goals. As soon as Ovechkin reaches that mark he’ll be ranked among the greats including Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe and Jaromir Jagr.  

Braden Holtby, G, Capitals (21-12-4): Despite the Caps loss on Saturday Braden Holtby was by far the best player on the ice. Holtby stopped 28 of 30 shots during a 3-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.

Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Golden Knights (22-14-5): Fleury came in clutch earning a shutout by stopping all 19 shots that he faced in a 1-0 win against the New York Islanders on Saturday. Marc-Andre Fleury recorded his fourth shutout of the season and the 60th of his career.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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