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Capitals aren't surprised Rangers forced Game 7

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Capitals aren't surprised Rangers forced Game 7

News, notes, quotes and all the numbers surrounding the Capitals’ Game 7 showdown against the New York Rangers Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at MadisonSquareGarden (Pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on CSN). The winner moves on to face the Tampa Bay Lightning or Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Finals, likely to begin Saturday or Sunday:

Going the distance: The two clubs will face off in a Game 7 for the third time in four years
and for the fourth time overall, each coming in the past seven seasons.
The Caps won in 2009, while the Rangers have
eliminated the Capitals twice in the past three seasons [2012 and 2013]:

No surprises: The Caps say no one should be surprised this is going seven games, even though the Caps won three of the first four games.

“We’re in a Game 7 against the best team in the league,” Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “I think we were  pretty fortunate to be up 3-1. I think a lot of people lost sight of that and expected it to be easy to get that fourth win against a team who won the Presidents’ Trophy. I think we’re all pretty happy to have the opportunity for a Game 7.”

Barry Trotz agrees.

“Going into this series I’m listening to all you experts and everyone was saying it’s going to be a long, seven-game series, so you got what you wanted.”

Clutch: Since their elimination by the Capitals in 2009, the Rangers have
posted five consecutive Game 7 wins and have won six consecutive Game 7s in the Garden dating back to 1992. The Rangers are also trying to become the first NHL team to win a
best-of-seven series it trailed 3-1 in consecutive years. The Rangers stormed back to beat the Penguins after losing three of four in Round 2 last spring.

“They’re a great hockey team and we knew this wasn’t going to be an easy series for us,” Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said. “Another Game 7. It’s fun. Instead of being nervous we should make it a fun experience and an opportunity for us, a challenge.”

The King vs. the Prince: Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has won give straight Game 7s and has allowed one or fewer goals in
each of those contests. His 1.00 goals-against average in Game 7s is tied
with Johnny Bower and Dwayne Roloson for the lowest all-time [minimum 3 games]. A
sixth game 7 win would tie Lundqvist with Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy
for the most in NHL history.

In six career Game 7s, Lundqvist is 5-1 with a 1.00 GAA and .965 save percentage. Braden Holtby has played in four career Game 7s and is 2-2 with a 2.23 GAA and.911 save percentage.

“The game doesn’t change,” Holtby said. “The circumstances do, but the actual game doesn’t change. Circumstances aside, I expect the top level of myself and everyone that plays. I’m ready for the challenge.”

MORE CAPITALS: WON'T BACK DOWN

Been there, done that: The Caps are hoping to draw from their 2-1 victory in game 7 against the Islanders, when they held New York to just 11 shots and received goals from Joel Ward and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

“It’s not going to be one person that wins this,” Caps defenseman Karl Alzner said. “It’s going to take everyone doing the exact same thing right. We want to play the same way we did against the Islanders and give 100 percent effort so that win or lose you’re happy with yourself and your team. We want to win really bad so I think we’re going to be ready to go.”

Injury update: Whatever kept Caps defenseman Tim Gleason off the ice for much of the third period is not likely to keep him out of Game 7. “I had some skate issues,” Gleason said wistfully. “I’m going to skate tomorrow and see how my skates feel.” Caps center Eric Fehr [upper body] skated with his teammates Tuesday but is not expected to be available for Game 7. 

Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh left Game 6 briefly after taking a big hit from Alex Ovechkin in the third period. It was reported that McDonagh re-injured his left shoulder, which has twice been separated. McDonagh skated with the Rangers on Tuesday and will be charged with stopping Ovechkin again in Game 7, something he has done well for the past four games.

Game 7 by the numbers: Home teams are 93-65 (.589) all-time in Game 7s in the Stanley Cup playoffs, including 2-0 in 2015. …The team that scores first is 117-41 all-time (.741), including a 2-0 mark in 2015. … Thirty-nine of 158 Game 7s have required overtime (24.7%). Road teams enjoy a narrow edge, 20-19, in Game 7 overtimes.

Capitals in Game 7s
Player GP W-L G A Pts.
Karl Alzner 5 2-3 0 0 0
Nicklas Backstrom 8 3-5 1 1 2
Jay Beagle 4 2-2 0 0 0
Troy Brouwer 5 2-3 0 0 0
Andre Burakovsky 1 1-0 0 0 0
John Carlson 5 2-3 0 2 2
Jason Chimera 5 2-3 0 3 3
Eric Fehr 4 1-3 0 0 0
Tim Gleason 3 3-0 0 2 2
Curtis Glencross 1 1-0 0 0 0
Mike Green 8 3-5 0 1 1
Marcus Johansson 4 2-2 0 0 0
Evgeny Kuznetsov 1 1-0 1 0 1
Brooks Laich 7 3-4 2 2 4
Matt Niskanen 3 1-2 0 0 0
Brooks Orpik 5 3-2 0 2 2
Alex Ovechkin 8 3-5 2 3 5
Joel Ward 4 2-2 2 0 2
Tom Wilson 2 1-1 0 0 0
Player GP Mins W-L GAA SO Sv%
Braden Holtby 4 242 2-2 2.23 0 .911

Rangers in Game 7s

NY Rangers GP W-L G A Pts.
Dan Boyle 5 3-2 1 2 3
Derick Brassard 3 3-0 0 3 3
Dan Girardi 6 5-1 1 0 1
Tanner Glass 3 1-2 0 0 0
Carl Hagelin 5 5-0 0 2 2
Matt Hunwick 1 0-1 0 0 0
Kevin Klein 2 2-0 0 1 1
Chris Kreider 4 4-0 0 1 1
Ryan McDonagh 5 5-0 0 0 0
Dominic Moore 6 5-1 2 2 4
Rick Nash 3 3-0 0 1 1
James Sheppard 2 0-2 0 1 1
Marc Staal 5 4-1 1 0 1
Derek Stepan 5 5-0 0 2 2
Martin St. Louis 6 5-1 0 2 2
Keith Yandle 1 0-1 0 0 0
Mats Zuccarello 3 3-0 1 1 2
Players GP Mins W-L GAA SO Sv%
Henrik Lundqvist 6 360 5-1 1.00 1 .965

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Capitals Faceoff podcast: Barry Trotz has his work cut out for him

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff podcast: Barry Trotz has his work cut out for him

Barry Trotz is now the head coach of the New York Islanders, a team that missed the playoffs and just lost their franchise player. So how does next season look on Long Island?

In the long summer months, the Capitals Faceoff Podcast will take a look at some of the Caps' competition next season. In this episode, it's the New York Islanders. Brian Compton of NHL.com joins Rob Carlin and Tarik El-Bashir to talk about what Trotz brings to Long Island and what's left to work with.

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

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Monumental announces major improvements for in-game experience at Capitals and Wizards games

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USA TODAY Sports

Monumental announces major improvements for in-game experience at Capitals and Wizards games

Monumental Sports & Entertainment announced an overhauled in-game entertainment experience for the 2018-19 Wizards and Capitals seasons on Wednesday. 

These changes include a new DJ stage, new permanent 3D on ice/on court projection system, along with new Wizards and Capitals entertainment squads, as Capital One Arena undergoes $40 million in renovations.

“We are committed to putting on the best show possible for every fan who comes to a game at Capital One Arena,” said MSE President of Business Operations Jim Van Stone.  “So, as we upgrade the facilities at the Arena this summer, we are also upgrading all of our in-game entertainment to keep the experience fresh and on the cutting edge.”

“We’re excited about these new changes to our game entertainment experience,” said Hunter Lochmann, MSE Senior Vice President of Marketing.  “We work hard to create the best, most engaging entertainment experience in professional sports and we hope fans love this new, revamped energy.”

 

Some of the other improvement announced were:

  • Digital signage experience throughout the fully-renovated concourses that will pull fans into an exclusively all-Wizards or all-Capitals team experience each night highlighting player and team imagery on each concourse
  • Sponsored quadrants in the Arena where fans will experience concourse takeovers and can expect special offers and giveaways from sponsors
  • Olympia ice resurfacer bus: groups of fans will be able to take pre-game and intermission rides
  • Award-winning, chef-inspired dining experience featuring options from premiere chefs David Chang, Cat Cora and Alex McCoy
  • A transformed and modernized PwC Club offering some of the best sightlines in the Arena and new 100-level lounge, both featuring top-of-the-line comfort seating and exclusive food and beverage options so fans can gather in style during the games 
  • A new in-bowl broadcasting platform for NBC Sports Washington

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