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Capitals fight off comeback attempt for narrow win over lowly Avalanche

Capitals fight off comeback attempt for narrow win over lowly Avalanche

Final score: Washington Capitals 5, Colorado Avalanche 3

How it happened: John Carlson opened up the scoring by finishing off an odd-man rush in the first period. Mikko Rantanen responded as the Caps got caught puck watching in their own zone, but Jay Beagle tipped in a Kevin Shattenkirk shot just 37 seconds later. Washington established control in the second period with goals from Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov to make it 4-1, but Matt Nieto added a goal before the end of the frame. Nathan MacKinnon dropped jaws with his goal in the third to pull Colorado within one, but Lars Eller put the finishing touch on the win with an empty-net goal late.

What it means: Washington has won six straight games and seven of its last eight. They now have a five-point lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets and a seven-point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metropolitan Division.

Goals

Caps goal: John Carlson (power play) from Andre Burakovsky and Evgeny Kuznetsov at 4:00 in the 1st period. Three Avalanche got caught deep in the Caps’ zone on a shorthanded opportunity opening them up for the counter attack from Washington. Justin Williams went up to Burakovsky, who went cross-ice to Kuznetsov who dropped it back to the trailing Carlson. Carlson then wristed it home. Caps 1, Avalanche 0

Avalanche goal: Mikko Rantanen from Sven Andrighetto and Nathan MacKinnon at 11:11 in the 1st. MacKinnon took it into the zone and faced a wall of three Caps and dropped the pass back to Rantanen. The Caps defense got caught watching as no one stepped up to him leaving Rantanen plenty of time to get the shot off and score. Caps 1, Avalanche 1

Caps goal: Jay Beagle from Kevin Shattenkirk and Tom Wilson at 11:48 in the 1st. A centering attempt from Wilson was deflected back to the blue line where Shattenkirk unleashed a blistering slap shot. Beagle managed to get a piece of the puck and deflect it in. Caps 2, Avalanche 1

Caps goal: Marcus Johansson (power play) from Kevin Shattenkirk and T.J. Oshie at 4:57 in the 2nd. Good things happen when you shoot. Shattenkirk had the puck at the blue line on the power play and wristed one at the net. Oshie got a piece of it and it bounced off of Johansson and in the net. Caps 3, Avalanche 1

Caps goal: Evgeny Kuznetsov from Justin Williams and Marcus Johansson at 11:03 in the 2nd. Justin Williams sent the breakout pass into the neutral zone where Johansson pounced on it. He fought off Nieto on his way to the net and backhanded a pass to Kuznetsov who scored. Caps 4, Avalanche 1

Avalanche goal: Matt Nieto from Rene Bourque and Mikhail Grigorenko at 13:50 in the 2nd. With the puck in the offensive zone, Dmitry Orlov pinched too far into the attack leaving the Caps exposed after a turnover from Williams. That started a two-on-one with Grigorenko leading the way. Matt Niskanen slid to block the pass, but Grigorenko curled around him with the backhand and passed it over to Nieto for the goal. Caps 4, Avalanche 2

Avalanche goal: Nathan MacKinnon from Sven Andrighetto and Tyson Barre at 4:29 in the 3rd. MacKinnon had the goal of the game as he broke the puck out of his own zone, turned Orlov inside-out with the deke and threaded the needle between him and Niskanen, then tucked the puck into the net. Caps 4, Avalanche 3

Caps goal: Lars Eller (empty net) from Daniel Winnik at 18:38 in the 3rd. Caps 5, Avalanche 3

3 stars

1. Kevin Shattenkirk: It doesn't look like any more adjustment is necessary. Shattenkirk looks right at home with the Caps, especially playing the point on the power play.

2. Nathan MacKinnon: MacKinnon had the goal of the night in the third period as he deked and dangled his way through Orlov and Niskanen for the goal. He also added an assist with a drop-back pass to Rantanen in the first.

3. Marcus Johansson: Johansson earned a goal with the strong net-front presence, then added an assist on a fantastic individual effort to fight off Nieto and set up Kuznetsov.

Look ahead: The Caps continue their road trip with a game in Arizona on Friday. Then they head to Columbus for a pivotal Metropolitan matchup with the Blue Jackets. They wrap-up the trip in Toronto on Tuesday and then return home for the quick turnaround with the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

Tell us what you think: There was going to be an adjustment period for Shattenkirk when he was acquired at the trade deadline. He now has 11 points in 13 games with the Caps. Do you think he has settled in with this new team or do you think he still needs more time to learn?

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Capitals vs. Rangers Game 9: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

Capitals vs. Rangers Game 9: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

The Capitals are back at home again Friday night for the third game in a row, this time to face the New York Rangers.

In their last time on the ice, Capitals won on the back of three goals in 78 seconds, dropping the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-2. Now they turn their attention to the Rangers, who they've beaten nine of the last 10 times they've played, dating back to the 2016-17 season.

The Rangers have revamped their roster a bit in the offseason and will put it to the test against the Capitals for the first time of the 2019-20 season on Friday night.

Here is everything you need to know about the Friday night game, which takes place at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington.

CAPITALS vs. RANGERS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers, Game 7 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Capitals vs. Rangers game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals vs. Rangers on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM

CAPITALS vs RANGERS TV SCHEDULE

6:00 PM: Caps FaceOff Live

6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live

7:00 PM: Capitals vs Rangers

9:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live

10:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live

10:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live

CAPITALS vs RANGERS INJURY REPORT:

Capitals: Michael Kempny, D, is on injured reserve. Jonas Siegenthaler, D, is day-to-day after taking a big hit to his shoulder during Wednesday night's game. Richard Panik, RW, is day-to-day.

Rangers: N/A

CAPITALS vs RANGERS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Alex Ovechkin, F, Capitals (5 goals, 2 ppg, 32 shots): Ovechkin's quest for the all-time goal-scoring record is fully on. The seasoned veteran already has five goals this year, two of which have come on the power play.

John Carlson, D, Capitals (14 points, 3 goals, 11 assists): If Ovechkin is the finisher, Carlson is the set-up man. Carlson leads the team in points and assists with 14 and 11, respectively. The blueliner has three goals of his own, while four of his assists have come on the power play.

Mika Zibanejad, C, Rangers (8 points, 4, goals, 4 assists): Through three games, Zibanejad leads the Rangers in points, goals and assists. It's early in the season, but the veteran center is poised for another strong offensive output in the middle for the Rangers.

CAPITALS vs. RANGERS SERIES HISTORY

Number of all-time Meetings: 266 (51 postseason)

All-Time Series Record: Capitals lead 131-117-18

Regular Season Record: Capitals lead 107-90-18

Playoff Record: Capitals lead 28-27

Last Meeting: Caps win 3-2 in a shootout (3/3/18)

Last 10: Capitals lead 9-1

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Max Scherzer to drop puck at Friday's Caps-Rangers game

Max Scherzer to drop puck at Friday's Caps-Rangers game

Just when you think the D.C. connection between the Nationals and Capitals couldn't get any stronger, it does.

While the Nationals await the winner of the Astros and Yankees as to who they will play in the World Series, the city's first in 86 years, pitcher Max Scherzer will participate in the ceremonial puck drop prior to the Capitals and Rangers clash. 

During the Capitals 2018 Stanley Cup run, the Nationals were their biggest supporters. Scherzer and Ryan Zimmerman attended one of their Cup games against the Knights dressed up in Caps gear. They were awarded the fans of the game.

Now, the Capitals are returning the favor.

Earlier this postseason, the Capitals were heading to Nashville when the Nationals were set to play the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLDS. Each Caps player walked off the plane sporting a cursive 'Nationals' across their chest.

There's plenty of love between these two teams. The Nationals just hope their postseason ends the same way the Capitals' did a season ago.

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