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Breaking down Capitals' 2012 draft

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Breaking down Capitals' 2012 draft

PITTSBURGH Want to get to know the Capitals 10 draft picks a little better?

The following are capsules on the players selected by the Capitals, along with some analysis from Ross Mahoney, the clubs director of scouting.

Round 1 11 Filip Forsberg, C, 6-1, 188, Leksand, SwedenNoteworthy: Split the season between Leksand and its junior team, totaling 8 goals, 9 assists in 43 games. Won silver medal at the 2011 World Under-18 Championships, recording 4 goals, 2 assists in six games. Models his game after Peter Forsberg, but is not related.
Maloneys take: One of the better prospects in this years draft. Very fortunate he was there for us.

Round 1 16 Thomas Wilson, RW, 6-3, 205, Plymouth, OHLNoteworthy: Recorded 9 goals, 18 assists and 141 penalty minutes and a plus-17 rating in 49 games for Plymouth during an injury-plagued (sprained MCL, broken knuckle) season. Added 7 goals, 6 assists in 13 playoff contests. Voted Best Body Checker in the OHLs Western Conference Coaches Poll.
Maloneys Take: A big strong forward, a power forward. More skill than people give him credit for.

Round 3 77 Chandler Stephenson, CLW, 5-11, 190, Regina, WHLNoteworthy: Helped Regina make the playoffs for the first time in four years, recording 22 goals and 20 assists despite missing 14 games with an injury. Named the Pats Most Sportsmanlike Player. His cousin, Joey Kocur, won three Stanley Cups (Detroit: 1997, 1998 and NY Rangers: 1994). Other cousins Shay Stephenson (198th overall in 2003 by Carolina) and Logan Stephenson (35th overall in 2004) by Phoenix) play in the KHL.
Mahoneys take: Smart player, very good hands, can score, can move the puck, good skater, very good athlete.

Round 4 100 Thomas Di Pauli, C, 5-11, 188, US-18, USHLNoteworthy: Born in Italy near the Austrian border, Di Pauli and his family moved to Illinois when he was 13 to allow him to develop his hockey skills. He speaks four languages: English, Italian, Spanish and German. Recorded 10 goals, 10 assists in 51 games for the U.S. Under-18 team and was used primarily in a checking role.
Maloneys take: Honest player, skates well. Has skill, can play the penalty kill and shutdown roles. High character.

Round 4 107 Austin Wuthrich, RW, 6-1, 190, Notre Dame, CCHANoteworthy: Teammates with Thomas Di Pauli on U.S. Under-18 team and will attend Notre Dame with Di Pauli next season. Both are attending summer classes. Finished the regular season with 7 goals, 10 assists in 36 games.

Round 5 137: Connor Carrick, D, 5-11, 185, US-18, USHLNoteworthy: From Orland Park, Ill. Recorded 7 goals, 11 assists in 53 games for U.S. Under-18 team.

Round 6 167 Riley Barber, RW, 5-11, 194, US-18, USHLNoteworthy: From Pittsburgh. His father, Don, was selected 120th overall in 1983 by Edmonton and went on to play in the NHL for Minnesota, Winnipeg, Quebec and San Jose between 1988-89 and 1991-92.

Round 7 195 Christian Djoos, D, 5-11, 158, Brynas, Sweden-Jr.Noteworthy: Split time between three different teams from Brynas this season, totaling 8 goals 29 assists in 48 games.
Maloneys take: Needs to get strong, but very intelligent, good hands, moves the puck very well.

Round 7 197: Jaynen Rissling, D, 6-4, 223, Calgary, WHLNoteworthy: Recorded 5 goals, 18 assists in 55 games for Calgary. Risslings uncle, Gary, signed with the Caps in 1978 before being traded to Pittsburgh in 1981. Gary Rissling played 221 games in the NHL, amassing 1,008 penalty minutes. Jaynens dad, Kelly, played in the Western Hockey League (Portland, Lethbridge) and International Hockey League.
Maloneys take: Good skater, more of a physical player.

Round 7 203 Sergei Kostenko, G, 5-11, 187, Novokuznetsk-2, Russ-Jr.Noteworthy: In 19 games for Novokuznetsk, recorded 3.41 GAA and .884 save percentage.
Mahoneys take: Very athletic, very competitive, played well for Russias Under-20 team.

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With the season on the line, the Capitals remain confident heading into Game 7

With the season on the line, the Capitals remain confident heading into Game 7

ARLINGTON, Va. – While Capitals fans woke up breathing into paper bags on Wednesday trying not to hyperventilate, the team was all smiles as it skated onto the ice for the morning skate. While the curse of playoff failures past still clearly resonates through a nervous fan base, there was nothing but confidence coming out of MedStar Capitals Iceplex.

“It’s a positive mood,” Carl Hagelin said. “But at the same time, you can see that guys are focused. I think that’s a big part of it, too, being focused going in and knowing that first shift is going to be key.”

The newfound confidence stems from last year’s playoff success which included a dominant 4-0 Game 7 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final.

“I think the last year experience what we have against Tampa helps a lot,” Alex Ovechkin said. “We have the same motivation, we have the same atmosphere. Of course it's not for Stanley Cup Final, it's for second round."

“Until you go through it and you've had success, then you can only talk so much about it,” head coach Todd Reirden said. “Eventually you have to go through it. Our core group has gone through it, and we'll use that as a positive tonight and go about our business."

Unlike last year’s Game 7, however, this one will come in Washington which should give an advantage to the Caps.

The home team has gone 6-0 in this series thus far and Washington has looked like two different teams playing at Capital One Arena and in Raleigh.

While the true advantage of home-ice throughout the league is debatable, clearly it has mattered in this series and, according to the team, the importance of having the home crowd certainly matters to them.

“When the fans cheering for you in your big moment, block shots or kill the penalty and the fans get into it right away, you feel it and it gives you more energy and motivation," Ovechkin said.

"Home ice has been a big advantage in this series,” Reirden said. “I expect our crowd to give us the lift that they have thus far. Right from the start of the playoffs they've given us a boost, I think different than in past years, and it's allowed us to have more success at home.”

One player who will need to step up his game if the Caps hope to extend their season will be Evgeny Kuznetsov. One of the most dominant players in last year’s postseason, Kuznetsov has been held to just five assists and no goals in six games.

Kuznetsov enters Game 7 knowing he needs to be better than he has been to this point.

“I think that is how everyone feels when you lose a game in the playoffs,” he said. “You always feel like you did something wrong and you are not fully there and you know it.”

While the pressure of a Game 7 can wear on some players, however, Kuznetsov said that he looks forward to these moments. Kuznetsov was the Game 7 hero in 2015 when he scored the game and series-winning goal against the New York Islanders.

“Game 7 is Game 7,” Evgeny Kuznetsov said. “It is fun to play.”

In the past we have seen a tentative Capitals team take the ice, play tight and collapse when things did not go their way. A more experienced team will take the ice on Wednesday knowing that things will not go completely their way in the game, but with the confidence that they are good enough to overcome those obstacles, win and advance.

“I just think unexpected stuff happens and being mentally tough is really important in these games and just having confidence and trust in one another,” John Carlson said. “A lot can go astray, a lot can change quickly and with both of the teams’ backs against the wall, that’s what you rely on and fall back on.”

“You’ve got to be prepared for everything,” Reirden said. “In this situation you need to come back to your foundations as a group, as a system, as a team. That never changes, regardless of what happens within the game. So you've got a system and that's your security blanket, and you've got that structure in place. Where the game goes from there is going to be decided by the players executing that system and that game plan. Every [Game 7] plays out a little bit different. There's crazy swings. It's a fun time to be playing in these type of games and our guys will grow from it no matter what."

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NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Bruins, Sharks eliminate Maple Leafs, Golden Knights in Game 7s

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NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Bruins, Sharks eliminate Maple Leafs, Golden Knights in Game 7s

With two Game 7s lined up Tuesday, the daytime was filled with anxiety and curiosity over which teams would come out on top. The Maple Leafs were looking to end a streak of Game 7 losses to their rival Bruins, and the Golden Knights were looking to continue their quest toward returning to the Stanley Cup Final and perhaps getting the job done this year.

However, the games took a wild turn, as Boston was able to easily cruise past Toronto and the Sharks were able to comeback from a 3-0 deficit to win in overtime. Here's how each game played out.

Bruins top Maple Leafs in another Game 7, 5-1

Game 7 seems to happen naturally between these two teams, and yet again, it was Boston who was able to easily win this one with a 5-1 victory.

The beginning of the first period was seemingly quiet, but in the last six minutes, the Bruins turned on the jets. Joakim Nordstrom scored after putting a pass from the top of the circle past Frederik Andersen to make it 1-0 for Boston. Just three minutes later, Marcus Johansson scored on a quick shot that made it 2-0 heading into the second.

John Tavares was able to cut the lead to one early in the second, but Sean Kuraly went top-shelf to restore the Bruins' two-goal lead in the first two minutes of the third.

Charlie Coyle and Patrice Bergeron added two more for Boston to guarantee the win and move onto the second round, and Tuukka Rask made 31 saves in the win. This is the third time in the last decade and the second year in a row that the Maple Leafs have fallen to Boston in seven games in the first round.

Sharks stun Golden Knights with 5-4 OT win

It was an interesting night for the Sharks to say the least. After trailing 3-0 after two periods, it seemed as if the season was over, but a costly major penalty for Vegas led to a comeback and eventual overtime victory for San Jose.

William Karlsson opened the scoring halfway through the first after jumping on a loose puck and firing it past Martin Jones. Cody Eakin added to the lead 10 minutes into the second to make it 2-0, and later, to start the third, Mark Stone struck to make it 3-0.

However, Cody Eakin then cross-checked Joe Pavelski in the head, receiving a five-minute major that led to a lengthy power play for San Jose and changed the momentum of the game. That's when the Sharks scored four goals on the lengthy man advantage.

Logan Couture struck first, scoring on a pass from Kevin Labanc to make it 3-1. A minute later, Tomas Hertl redirected an Erik Karlsson point shot past Fleury to pull San Jose within one. Couture put home his second of the night soonafter, then Labanc had a goal of his own to give San Jose a 4-3 lead with seven minutes remaining.

The Golden Knights were able to tie it with 47 seconds left, as Jonathan Marchessault was able to one-time a feed from Reilly Smith past Jones to make it 4-4. However, the Sharks eliminated Vegas after Barclay Goodrow deked the puck past Fleury in the final minute of the first extra period.

San Jose will face Colorado in the second round, which kicks off Thursday.

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