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3 bold predictions: Jay Beagle owns the Central Division

3 bold predictions: Jay Beagle owns the Central Division

Jay Beagle has been an offensive powerhouse against teams from the Central Division this year. Will that continue Thursday against Nashville (7 p.m., CSN)? Here are three bold predictions for the game.

1. Jay Beagle will score

Eight of Beagle's 12 goals this season have come against Central Division teams. Against everyone else? He has only four goals.

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2. The Capitals will give up at least four power plays

If Washington gave up four power plays, that would actually be an improvement from what they have done lately. The Caps have given up five or more power plays in four straight games. What's more is that Nashville is pretty good at drawing penalties as they rank 6th in the NHL in road power play opportunities.

3. Alex Ovechkin will get at least two points

Ovechkin's Rocket Richard days are probably behind him, but his scoring days are not. He finally broke his goalless drought and he's a player that tends to produce in bunches. He has points in two straight games and he'll make it three tonight with a big performance after finding the back of the net on Tuesday.

MORE CAPITALS: Check out the latest addition of the Capitals Faceoff Podcast!

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Twitter reacts to Alex Ovechkin tallying his 700th career goal

Twitter reacts to Alex Ovechkin tallying his 700th career goal

With 4:50 remaining in the third period of the Capitals' loss to the Devils, Alex Ovechkin became the eighth player in NHL history to reach 700 goals. Deservingly so, Twitter exploded into an absolute moshpit of excitement and appreciation for Ovi's milestone:

As you can hear in these clips the crowd at Prudential Center broke out into soccer-style Ovi chants.


The Devils' crowd gave Ovechkin a standing ovation, the atmosphere after goal 700 was electric. 

This should go without saying but Caps Prom was lit for Ovi's 700th. Manifestation is key.

Now that the weight of 700 is seemingly in the rearview mirror hopefully, the Caps can get back to their winning ways. 

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Ovechkin scores 700, but Caps still fall in New Jersey

Ovechkin scores 700, but Caps still fall in New Jersey

Alex Ovechkin's historical tally was not enough on Saturday as the Capitals fell 3-2 to the New Jersey Devils. Washington has now lost six of its last seven games as the team continues to skid.

Here is how the Caps lost.

No goals on two early power plays

For a Caps team in desperate need of getting right, they had two golden opportunities to take control against a weak team shedding all of its best players. Tom Wilson drew a roughing call from Connor Carrick at 2:36 and less than a minute after the power play expired, Travis Zajac put Washington right back on the power play with a high-stick to Michal Kempny.

Despite two early opportunities, the Caps did not score a goal and failed to build any offensive momentum at all.

A misplay by Eller

Richard Panik was hooked in the offensive zone and lost the puck, but Dmitry Orlov picked it up and passed to Lars Eller. Eller attempted a soft backhand pass to Carl Hagelin that was picked off by Damon Severson. At that moment, Jesper Bratt bolted down the ice and Severson delivered the pass to send him on the breakaway which Bratt scored after faking a shot to freeze Ilya Samsonov and deking around him.

Todd Reirden was displeased after the goal and benched Eller and Michal Kempny for the remainder of the first period.

Jensen loses his man

Defending against a New Jersey power play, Nick Jensen had to deal with Wayne Simmonds, who parked himself next to the net. That's where Simmonds likes to work and he is very effective there.

Nikita Gusev delivered a pass to the front of the net, but Jensen, anticipating the shot, went down to a knee. He remained there when Bratt tried to redirect the puck on net. The redirect was weak and from the high slot, an easy save for Samsonov had it gotten to him. Instead, it deflected off of Jensen and right to Simmonds who buried the puck.

Third-period penalties

New Jersey gave Washington two power plays to work with in the third period in a tie game. The Caps did not score on either and then returned the favor by giving up two power plays of their own. Evgeny Kuznetsov was called for hooking and Michal Kempny was caught slashing Kyle Palmieri just 71 seconds later.

Damon Severson scored with 1:59 remaining in the game to give New Jersey the 3-2 lead.

Net-front pressure

Washington fired 34 shots on goal for the game so you may be tempted to think a hot goalie stoned them. That's not what happened. Washington did not get nearly enough pressure in front of the net and fired far too many shots from too high in the zone to effectively challenge New Jersey netminder Mackenzie Blackwood.

When Tom Wilson parked himself in front of Blackwood on a power play in the second period, the Caps scored. There was not nearly enough of that on Saturday.

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