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3 bold predictions: What will Alex Ovechkin do for an encore?

3 bold predictions: What will Alex Ovechkin do for an encore?

The Caps were able to get the win over Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Now they’ll look for another two points against Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane as Washington will host the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday (7 p.m., CSN). Here are three bold predictions for the game.

1. A defenseman will score for Washington

Remember that uptick in defensive scoring? Well, the blue line has suddenly gone cold again. The team’s defensemen have not scored a goal in the last three games. That streak will end against Chicago.

STREAM FRIDAY NIGHT'S GAME HERE VIA CSN'S LIVE STREAM PAGE STARTING AT 6:30 P.M.

2. Alex Ovechkin will not get a point

Ovechkin was red-hot when he scored his 500th goal last season with five goals in three games, but he was held off the scoresheet entirely for the next two games after getting No. 500. I expect a similar, albeit brief drop off especially with the Caps facing a stingy Chicago defense that allows only 2.41 goals per game.

3. Evgeny Kuznetsov will have a multi-point night

Kuznetsov pulled off some behind the net magic against the Pittsburgh Penguins to set up Justin Williams’ third period goal on Wednesday. After a lackluster start to the season, Kuznetsov’s confidence is growing with every game and that will result in a big night for him Friday.

RELATED: WITH PENALTIES ON THE RISE, TROTZ BEGINS TAKING ACTION

Prediction Results for 2017: The climb toward .500 has begun. But this wouldn't be as much fun if it weren't "BOLD" predictions.
Correct:
 4
Wrong: 14
Push: 0

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Alex Ovechkin teaching his son hockey might be the most adorable thing ever

Alex Ovechkin teaching his son hockey might be the most adorable thing ever

The Capitals had an off day on Sunday ahead of their Monday matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets, giving the opportunity for Alex Ovechkin to spend some time with his son.

Sergei and his dad came across a baby hockey stick and Ovechkin decided to teach his son a few moves.

The 2035 NHL mock drafts have yet to be released, but we have an early pick for No. 1…

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Backstrom's back: Caps will get their top center back for Monday's game

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Backstrom's back: Caps will get their top center back for Monday's game

ARLINGTON, Va -- The Capitals are riding a six-game win streak and already have the most points in the NHL and now they will be adding one of their best players back into the lineup. Nicklas Backstrom said Sunday after practice that he is "ready to go" for Monday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. It will be his first game since Nov. 18.

An upper-body injury forced Backstrom out of the lineup for the last eight games. Despite returning to practice during the team's road trip through California, he did not get into a game as the team preached caution with its star center. As the team returned home, Backstrom took line rushes on Sunday and both he and head coach Todd Reirden confirmed he would be back in for Monday's game.

"It was good to see him out there in full practice," Reirden said. "Did some drills specifically to help prepare him for tomorrow. He's good to go for tomorrow."

Backstrom said he knew when he woke up on Sunday that he was ready.

"As of today I'm good to go," he said. "I woke up and felt good. It's like that guy in 'Mighty Ducks,' I woke up, no pain."

It does not appear as if Backstrom will be eased back into the lineup as he skated on the top line in practice alongside Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson. Evgeny Kuznetsov had been playing in that spot, but the top line had grown stagnant. Ovechkin, Wilson and Kuznetsov combined for only one even-strength point in the past three games.

Barring something unexpected, the return of Backstrom should give the Caps their full lineup for the first time all season. Considering what the team has been able to accomplish thus far while having to shuffle the lineup because of injuries and suspensions, this has been an impressive start.

"I think that shows the depth that we have all the way through our lineup: forward, defenseman and our goaltending has been strong," Reirden said. "I think it's a clear understanding that it's a competitive situation that we've had since training camp that players are ready to take advantage of their opportunities that they get and they know that they need to otherwise there's a chance they could find themselves on the outside. The inner-competition we've had has probably helped push that a little bit. That's been a good problem to have, and it's allowed us to see some other players get opportunities and showcase some of the abilities they have."

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