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Burakovsky experimenting with new sticks

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Burakovsky experimenting with new sticks

On his way out of the locker room following Monday's practice, Capitals goaltender Justin Peters informed Andre Burakovsky that he was headed to the medical room to get a new collar bone.

“I thought I hit you in the face,” Burakovsky said, “not your collar bone.”

“You hit both,” Peters said.

Apparently, leaving bruises on his own goalie was not good enough for Burakovsky because after practice he dropped three different sticks in the high slot and began snapping shots with each one.

“Yeah, I’m trying something new to see how it is,” Burakovsky said. “It’s good. I’m trying to find the lightest and best one. All sticks are going to be different and I’m trying to find the best one that fits me.”

At 20 years old, Burakovsky says he’s excited to see what he can do with a full NHL season. After a brief experiment at the center position as a rookie last season, when he netted nine goals and 13 assists in 53 games, Burakovsky is back there again.

RELATED: Minnesota Mr. Hockey trying to crack Caps lineup

Tonight against the New York Islanders at their new Barclays Center home in Brooklyn, Burakovsky is expected to center a line with left wing Brooks Laich and right wing Tom Wilson. On Monday he practiced between left wing Marcus Johansson and right wing Justin Williams.

With center Nicklas Backstrom questionable for the start of the regular season following hip surgery, Burakovsky could start the season as the Caps’ second-line center behind Evgeny Kuznetsov, who has been skating between Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie.   

“I’m trying to learn as much as I can,” said Burakovsky, who has one goal in two preseason games. “Last game was good. I felt comfortable in the D zone, on breakouts. I think I’m a lot better than last year.”

Burakovsky also revealed that he has moved out of an apartment he shared with teammates Tom Wilson and Michael Latta and into his own place in nearby Rosslyn. (Earlier this month he said how much he liked living with Wilson and Latta).

“It feels good,” he said. “I cooked myself chicken, asparagus and broccoli last night. Liam O’Brien helped me cook it and then he helped me eat it. It turned out good. It’s always more fun when you cook for someone else.”

Here are the projected line combinations, defense pairings and goaltending rotation for tonight:

Forward lines

Brooks Laich – Andre Burakovsky – Tom Wilson

Chris Brourque – Derek Roy – Jay Beagle

Sean Collins – Carter Camper – Stan Galiev

Liam O’Brien – Zach Sill – Paul Carey

Defense pairings

Karl Alzner – Matt Niskanen

Dmitry Orlov - Nate Schmidt

Aaron Ness – Madison Bowey

Goaltenders

Justin Peters – Philipp Grubauer

MORE CAPITALS: Stanton pushing for job as Caps' 7th defenseman

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Alex Ovechkin takes home ESPY for Best Male Athlete Award

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Alex Ovechkin takes home ESPY for Best Male Athlete Award

Alexander Ovechkin's offseason continues to be one for the books. 

Just a week removed from celebrating with the Stanley Cup in Moscow, Ovechkin was named Best Male Athlete Wednesday night at the 2018 ESPYs. 

The 32-year-old is the first NHL player to win the award since it was first introduced in 1993. 

"The Great Eight" beat out Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. 

Ovechkin was not in Los Angeles to accept the award.

 

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Can Alex Ovechkin still challenge for another Rocket Richard Trophy? 

Inside Alex Ovechkin's Weekend Party with the Stanley Cup in Russia

 

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Braden Holtby’s save in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup wasn’t even nominated for an ESPY

Braden Holtby’s save in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup wasn’t even nominated for an ESPY

On Wednesday night ESPN hosts their yearly sports award show, the ESPYs, to celebrate the best of the last 365 days in sport. 

One thing they will not be celebrating, or did not even consider celebrating, was Braden Holtby’s save in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final

This year there were 16 plays nominated to be the “Best Play” and were seeded into a bracket. For the past month fans have been voting in each head-to-head matchup culminating in four pretty outstanding plays:

All of those plays can be viewed here

Three of those four were in a championship game, the other was a just a once in a lifetime play from a teenager. 

But the ESPYs are saying that there are 16 plays from this past year that were better than Holtby’s save… Can we really believe that? Everyone loves buzzer beaters, but they accounted for six of the 16 plays. One of them could have easily gotten bumped. 

And aside from the three listed above there were only two that were in the championship event for each sport. Holtby could have rounded it out for six.

We’re not saying that Holtby’s play was the best in the past year, or even in the top four. Heck, there should be no one that tops Ogunbowale’s incredible heroics. But arguably the best play in D.C. sports history not making the top-16 for best plays in a 365 day period? 

It must have been one heck of a sports year.  

For those that are nominated, Alex Ovechkin is a finalist for Best Male Athlete and Best NHL Player. The Capitals are in the running for Best Team.

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