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Tarik's 3 Stars: Bobrovsky denies Capitals even series with outstanding Game 2 performance

Tarik's 3 Stars: Bobrovsky denies Capitals even series with outstanding Game 2 performance

For the second straight game, the Caps took a two-goal lead on home ice vs. the Blue Jackets.

For the second straight game, the Caps committed a couple of unnecessary penalties, coughed up that lead and eventually fell in overtime. Philipp Grubauer, the starter for both Game 1 and Game 2, was pulled before the start of the third period. 

And now — following a dispiriting 5-4 defeat Sunday night — the three-time Metro Division champs find themselves down two-games-to-none, with the first round series shifting to Columbus for a pivotal Game 3 on Tuesday night.



Tarik's Three Stars of Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Game 2

1. Cam Atkinson, Blue Jackets

Atkinson scored on a breakaway late in the first period to trim Washington’s lead to 2-1.

Then the 5-foot-8, first line winger sniped one on the power play in the second period to even things 3-3.

2. Sergei Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets

Bobrovsky did exactly what Vezina Trophy winning goalies do: when his team needed him most, he was their best player.

The 29-year-old Russian stopped a total of 54 shots, including 20 of 21 in the third period as a desperate Caps team threw everything at him… including an Alex Ovechkin mini-breakaway.

Bob got that one, too.

3. Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

After the morning skate, the Caps’ captain acknowledged that he needed to be better than he was in Game 1. And boy was he ever.

Ovechkin scored from his office on the power play in the first period to stretch the Caps’ lead to 2-0.

He struck again on the power play early in the second period to put Washington up 3-1.

Alas, his pair of goals and 10 shots on net weren’t enough.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Capitals turn experimental as Stanley Cup playoffs approach

Capitals turn experimental as Stanley Cup playoffs approach

WASHINGTON – The Capitals are sick and they are tired and they are injured and they are experimenting.

That’s the takeaway with six games left to go in the regular season after a 3-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday at Capital One Arena. Todd Reirden mixed his defensive pairs routinely and did the same in the third period with his forward lines, which led to a goal for Jakub Vrana.

Washington extended its lead in the Metropolitan Division to three points over the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins. But they have been forced to look at different options thanks to an injury to defenseman Michal Kempny and illness spreading through the forward ranks at a bad time.

And so that’s how John Carlson started the game on the right side of the top pairing as usual, but was soon on the left side of the ice, with Nick Jensen moving up to replace Christian Djoos. At various times, Brooks Orpik played with Jensen and Djoos on the third pair. Kempny is out indefinitely, so Reirden doesn’t have much time to configure his ideal pairings. And trying to win a division title while doing so is problematic. 

“I feel perfectly comfortable playing with any of our D,” said Jensen, who was acquired just before the NHL trade deadline in late February. “I think they're all capable of playing great defense, and I think they're all really great D and we tend to all be on the same page a lot of the time. When we're switching up D-pairings there, it might be a little bit of an adjustment period, but we'll get used to it as it goes down the line as we keep playing with each other.”

They’d rather have Kempny, of course. Washington had turned the tide on shot attempts during the 10 games after Jensen was acquired and the lineup was stable. It was a good sign heading into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Unfortunately, Kempny is out indefinitely and no one is sure if or when he will return.    

“We're looking for the right combinations that work for us that can set us up for future success,” Reirden said. “Just some guys that aren't 100-percent in terms of lets say sickness wise that are low on energy so you have to manage those minutes as well. So there's a lot of things in play that cause for that type of mix and match stuff both with up front and on our blue line.” 


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Capitals' significant others show off puppies, announce Homeward Trails donations

Capitals' significant others show off puppies, announce Homeward Trails donations

If you didn't think you could love the Caps more, think again.

With an assist from some puppies, Caps' significant others Katrina Connolly, Paige Dowd, Tasha Maltman and Taylor Pischke announced a $177,000 donation to Homeward Trails Animal Rescue on the jumbotron during Sunday's 3-1 win over the Flyers.

All of the proceeds came from the Caps' 2019 canine calendars and were donated on behalf of the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation. Since 2014, the foundation has donated over $400,000 to Homeward Trails through the Capitals' annual canine calendars.

The puppies featured on the jumbotron are all available for adoption.