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Sympathizing for Oskar Sundqvist, Capitals still express support for Tom Wilson

Sympathizing for Oskar Sundqvist, Capitals still express support for Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson could find himself in trouble with the Department of Player Safety over a hit he delivered to St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in Sunday’s preseasons finale. From his teammates, however, Wilson got nothing but support.

Wilson delivered a high hit to Sundqvist in the second period of the game that knocked Sundqvist down to the ice for several moments. Wilson was ejected from the game for the hit and Sundqvist had to be helped off the ice by teammates.

Following the game, the Caps expressed sympathy for Sundqvist for suffering an injury, but noted the onus was on him for cutting to the center with the puck on the attack.

“You never want to see a guy get hurt like that,” Brett Connolly said. “It's a big hit. He definitely didn't see him coming. That's one of those things when you're cutting through the middle.”

“It sucks the guy got hurt, at the same time, you can't be cutting across the middle,” Devante Smith-Pelly said. “I don't care if it's preseason or the middle of the season. That play's not exactly the safest.”

Sundqvist entered the offensive zone on the left with the puck, then cut to the center and fired a shot just before he was hit by Wilson who was coming in the opposite direction. Cutting across the middle offensively is a dangerous play for this very reason. An opposing forward is skating into traffic and, with the puck on his stick, he may not see a trailing player on his blindside.

“It was something where [Wilson’s] coming into defensive zone coverage and where he's supposed to be and that hit happens,” Todd Reirden said.

“It was definitely in the game more 10 years ago where guys were getting absolutely killed coming across the middle,” Nic Dowd said. “But that's part of Tom's game and that's how he's going to play.”

The hit will no doubt be reviewed by the Department of Player Safety to determine if any supplemental discipline is warranted. The call on the ice for which Wilson was ejected was an illegal hit to the head. That fact that Sundqvist had to be helped off and did not return to the game will likely hurt Wilson’s cause, as will the fact that he was suspended twice for hits in the preseason in 2017 and again for a hit in the 2018 playoffs.

But while that may lead some to label Wilson as “dirty” he certainly is not viewed that way in the locker room.

“Obviouisly live it looked painful, but that's how [Wilson] plays and guys have to know when he's out there,” Dowd said. “It's a personnel thing. I think Tom, he's a clean player. I don't think he's out there to hurt anybody.”

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Capitals vs. Flyers Game 20: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

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Capitals vs. Flyers Game 20: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

The Caps are no longer on a six-game winning streak after losing in a shootout 4-3 to the Arizona Coyotes Monday night.

But now, they'll look to start a new winning streak Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers who have a winning streak of their own totaling four games.

The Capitals won all four games against the Flyers last season and look to continue that trend in the City of Brotherly Love. Washington will look to get on track Wednesday night.

Here's how to watch Wednesday's matchup.

CAPITALS-FLYERS GAME 20: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

When: Wednesday, November 13, 7:30 p.m.

TV Channel: Capitals-Flyers game will be broadcast on NBC Sports. (NBC Sports channel finder)

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

Radio: Caps Radio 24/7

CAPITALS-FLYERS TV SCHEDULE:

The Capitals-Flyers matchup will be on NBC Sports as the primetime matchup on Wednesday Night Hockey. Pre and post-game coverage will be on NBC Sports Washington Plus.

6:30 PM: Caps Faceoff Live (NBC Sports Washington Plus)

7:00 PM: Caps Pregame Live  (NBC Sports Washington Plus)

7:30 PM: Washington Capitals at Philadelphia Flyers (NBC Sports)

10:00 PM: Caps Postgame Live (NBC Sports Washington Plus)

10:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live (NBC Sports Washington Plus)

CAPITALS-FLYERS INJURY REPORT:

Capitals:

LW Carl Hagelin: upper-body injury, day-to-day

C Nic Dowd: lower-body injury, day-to-day

Flyers:

C Scott Laughton: finger injury, out indefinitely

D Samuel Morin, knee surgery, out for season

C Nolan Patrick, head injury, week-to-week

CAPITALS-FLYERS PLAYERS TO WATCH:

John Carlson, D, Capitals (8-21-29)

Carlson has been electric thus far leading the league with 21 assists, and leads the Capitals in goal and with 29 points. That is currently six points more than Capitals star player and captain Alex Ovechkin.

Carter Hart, G, Flyers

Hart stopped 26 shots to help the Flyers win their fourth straight win in the victory over the Bruins. 

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Playing with Siegenthaler, Nick Jensen may finally have found his fit in Washington

Playing with Siegenthaler, Nick Jensen may finally have found his fit in Washington

ARLINGTON, Va. -- It would be fair to say that Nick Jensen’s time with the Capitals did not start the way either he or the team had hoped. Brought in at the 2019 trade deadline, Jensen was playing top-pair minutes with the Detroit Red Wings. In Washington, however, it was a struggle to find the best fit for him in the lineup. Originally given a top-four role coming out of training camp this season, Jensen was eventually supplanted on the second pair by Radko Gudas. Now he sits on the third pair with Jonas Siegenthaler.

But as significant as Jensen’s falling down the lineup has been, just as significant has been the positive strides his game has taken in recent weeks.

“I've liked how he's played with [Jonas] Siegenthaler,” head coach Todd Reirden said. “So that's been a good look. I think it's allowed both of them to settle into their game.”

Stepping into a new team on the fly after getting traded to the Caps was a struggle for Jensen and it was made worse by the constant shuffling of the blue line.

An injury to Michal Kempny forced Reirden to keep switching his defensive pairs in search of the right combination through the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs. The effect that had on Jensen’s adjustment to his new team was not lost on him.

“I think the biggest change was just playing with different guys,” Jensen told NBC Sports Washington. “The D-partner I played with pretty steady in Detroit, we worked pretty well together...I feel like I was always on the same page with my D-partner which led to a lot of success for me there. It was kind of the difference coming over is just getting used to playing with different guys.”

Jensen played with Siegenthaler, Dmitry Orlov, Brooks Orpik and on the first pair with John Carlson playing on his off-side on the left, and that was just last season in only 20 regular-season games with Washington and seven more in the playoffs.

This season, Jensen had the benefit of a training camp and time to adjust to the team which he says has helped him settle in.

“I feel a lot more comfortable,” he said. “In 15 games last year I had more points than I do now, but I feel more comfortable in a sense of being out on the ice and how our team plays and moving the puck and trying to get it out of the D-zone which is one of my primary concerns when I'm out on the ice is getting the puck out of the D-zone and getting it into the forwards' hands. I feel a lot more comfortable this year and I'm getting used to how our team plays and how our forwards play and how we all gel together.”

But the biggest factor of all in how he has played may be the chemistry he has finally found with a defense partner.

Jensen started the season with Orlov on a pair that just did not seem to fit. Now with Siegenthaler, however, Jensen finally seems to be finding his way.

“I think it took a couple, or one or two games I think,” Siegenthaler said, “But I think now I kind of know where he stands, how he skates, how he wants the puck and everything. Smart player.”

Finding chemistry on a defensive pair is a good first step for Jensen finally fitting in with his new surroundings. Having said that, Reirden cautioned that for him to be truly successful in Washington, Jensen will need to eventually be able to play a variety of roles and with different partners, not just Siegenthaler.

“We need to continue to figure out ways to magnify [Jenssen’s strengths] as does he and be able to understand the role that he has on our team,” Reirden said. “Some nights, that's going to be playing with Orlov, some nights that's going to be playing with Siegenthaler. It's going to change. There's injuries and there's things that go on, different matchups that set up differently.”

But for a player who, for the first 40 games with the Caps, just did not seem to fit, finding chemistry with Siegenthaler is an important first step.

“I feel like all our D are very obviously super capable of playing defense,” Jensen said, “And I'm feeling pretty comfortable playing with the D-partner I'm playing with right now.”

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