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3 bold predictions: Do or die time

3 bold predictions: Do or die time

It’s do or die time for the Caps as they host the Pittsburgh Penguins for Game 5 (7:15 p.m., NBC). Win and the series goes at least six games. Lose, and the season is over. Here are three bold predictions for Game 5.

1. Alex Ovechkin will lead all forwards in ice-time

Barry Trotz raised eyebrows on Friday as Ovechkin skated on the third line in practice. He remained there for Saturday’s morning skate, skating alongside Lars Eller and Tom Wilson. He is going to start on the third line, but there is no way he gets only third-line minutes with the season on the line. Trotz has already said he intends to mix up the lines through the game. Say what you want about how Ovechkin has played this series, we all know he remains the best player on the team. This is not the time to bury him on the bench. For Washington to win, they will need him at his best.

RELATED: Caps plan to bring back the joy in Game 5

2. Justin Williams will get at least a point

Williams is known as Mr. Game 7. Well, it’s Game 7 now for the Caps. This is when the Caps need his leadership so they can believe they still have a chance to win this series because if they don't, then this is already over. He will lead the team both off the ice and by example with a big game on Saturday.

3. T.J. Oshie and Kevin Shattenkirk will both get at least a point

There is another reason why this will be a big game for Williams and he shares it with Oshie and Shattenkirk. All three players will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. That gives added importance to Saturday’s game as it could be their last. Even if they are ready to move on, they are still playing both for a championship and a contract. This Capitals team is built to win now and wherever those three players may end up, there is no guarantee that their next destination will be a contender. This could also be their last chance to add to their free agent resumes and earn themselves a few extra bucks at signing time.

MORE CAPITALS: Oshie not thinking about what could be his last game as a Cap

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Capitals re-sign Madison Bowey leaving Tom Wilson the lone remaining RFA

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Capitals re-sign Madison Bowey leaving Tom Wilson the lone remaining RFA

The Capitals re-signed one of their lone remaining restricted free agents, but it's not the big-name you were waiting for. Madison Bowey signed a two-year deal with Washington in a deal that will carry a $2 million cap hit, the team announced Thursday.

Bowey, 23, did not start last season with Washington, but was called up and made his NHL debut on Oct. 14 due to an injury to Matt Niskanen. He played in 51 games last season and tallied 12 assists.

With Bowey's signing, Tom Wilson remains the team's only remaining restricted free agent.

More on this story to come.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Checking in on Hershey

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Checking in on Hershey

In the present, the Capitals are the Stanley Cup champions. But what does the future hold?

The voice of the Hershey Bears, Zack Fisch, joins JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir to talk all things prospects!

Who stood out at development camp? How will Pheonix Copley look as backup? Which Hershey prospects could push for a spot in the NHL? All that and more on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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