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At age 43, Panthers' Jagr defying Father Time

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At age 43, Panthers' Jagr defying Father Time

It's fair to say that at 43 years old, Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr is defying even his own body clock. 

Entering tonight's game against the Capitals at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. (7 p.m., CSN pregame), Jagr leads the Panthers with 20 points (8 goals, 12 assists) in 25 games.

“He defies everything,” Trotz said. “When he was in Dallas (in 2012-13), if he didn’t have a good game he’d get the key to the rink and he’d turn on the lights and he’d be out there for two or three hours, after he played 20 minutes.

“That’s probably a long way from where he started as a young player. I remember him as a young player and he wouldn’t wear shoulder pads in practice and sort of go through the motions and rely on his pure talent.

“What I like about Jaromir is that as he’s gotten older he’s continued to keep the boy in his game. He enjoys it and I think his training and how much he loves the game and the way he performs in the games is pretty remarkable.”

Jagr’s offensive numbers are historic. Despite playing three seasons in Russia’s KHL, he is one goal away from tying Marcel Dionne for fourth on the NHL’s all-time goals list (731). Jagr ranks fourth in points (1,822), sixth in assists (1,092) and 10th in games played (1,575).    

“If he wouldn’t have left for the KHL he would have been testing Gordie Howe’s records,” Trotz said. “That’s pretty amazing. You could probably mark in another 120 or 130 goals to what he has already and that’s a pretty remarkable career. 

“And who says he’s not going to play for another six years? People thought maybe 10 years ago he might not be able to play and he’s come back and it’s pretty remarkable. He’s a Hall of Fame guy for sure but his numbers are pretty staggering.”

MORE CAPITALS: Trotz moves into Top 10 in NHL victories

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

The Eastern Conference Final is going the distance!

After losing three straight to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Capitals won Game 6 to force a Game 7 in Tampa Bay. Can the Caps beat the Lightning one more time and advance to the Stanley Cup Final?

JJ Regan, Tarik El-Bashir and special guest cameraman Mike D break it all down.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to schedule and time constraints, this podcast was recorded by phone and the audio quality is not up to our usual standards.

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

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Caps push Lightning around in Game 6 with physical game plan

Caps push Lightning around in Game 6 with physical game plan

As the NHL continues to focus more on speed and skill, the Capitals took a very old-school approach to Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. From the moment the puck dropped until the clock hit zero, it was clear Washington came into Monday with a very physical game plan.

"It made a big difference," T.J. Oshie said. "I think in these games, everyone’s bringing energy and you kind of want to control that and direct it towards some positive play, some momentum building for your team, and tonight I think we handled that and did that pretty well."

"We just wanted to throw everything we had at them," Stephenson said. "It was a do or die game and we don't want our season to end."

It worked.

The scoresheet officially credited the Caps with 39 hits for the game. The Lightning had only 19. The physical play seemed to wear down Tampa Bay as the game went on.

After an even first period, Washington took a 1-0 lead in the second. Then, very fittingly, a physical fourth line extended that lead to 2-0 in the third to finish the Lightning off.

"All of a sudden now we turn a puck over, you’re back in your end, they’re feeling it, they’re being physical, crowd’s behind them and we’re spending way too much time in our D zone," Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said. "That’s what hurt us."

What made it so effective was the fact that the entire team bought into it. Alex Ovechkin was certainly the most noticeable player as he threw himself around like a wrecking ball against everyone wearing a white jersey. But it was not just his line. Tom Wilson and Brooks Orpik each led the team with six hits, Devante Smith-Pelly recorded five of his own while Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom both had four.

The Lightning faced a constant barrage from the Caps from every line and defensive pair. There was no respite.

The hits also gave the fans plenty to cheer for.

The Caps were playing an elimination game at home and Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was standing on his head. Even with the score locked at 0-0 through the first period, the crowd was still very much into the game. There was no apprehension, there was no quiet tension. There was just a loud crowd cheering on its team.

"[The fans] were loud right from the start, which I think we fed off of and wanted to give them something back," Brooks Orpik said. "We didn't get a goal early. I think some of the physical play kind of helped carry that. They were great for us."

Now in the third round of the playoffs after six intense games between the Caps and Lightning, the hope is that Game 6's physical play will continue to take its toll on Tampa Bay heading into Game 7.

"We need to do that every game," Nicklas Backstrom said. "That's our forecheck. Hopefully, we can keep it going here in Game 7."

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