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Capitals' home streak halted at 15 games after comeback falls short against Stars

Capitals' home streak halted at 15 games after comeback falls short against Stars

Final score: Washington Capitals 2, Dallas Stars 4

How it happened: A controversial goal by Devin Shore was upheld after a coach's challenge, putting Dallas on the board less than two minutes into the game. The Stars added two goals in the second period in a span of just 1:54 to extend the lead to 3-0. That ended Braden Holtby's night who was pulled for Philipp Grubauer. Nicklas Backstrom started the comeback with a goal at the end of the second period that swung momentum in the Caps' favor. T.J. Oshie added another goal in the third, but an empty netter ended the comeback.

What it means: For the first time in 2017, the Caps lost at home, snapping a streak of 15-straight wins at Verizon Center. Yet again, it came at the hands of the Stars who the Caps have not beaten in D.C. since Nov. 30, 2006.

Goals

Stars goal: Devin Shore from Stephen Johns and Patrick Sharp at 1:48 in the 1st period. A long-range shot forced what may be the save of the season from Holtby as he had to reach out the toe to block the deflection. As Sharp took the puck for a wraparound, however, Holtby could not get over to make the save because Shore was in the crease blocking his path. He was pushed in by Brooks Orpik, but did not appear to attempt to get out of the crease and eventually shot in the loose puck for the goal. It was reviewed for goalie interference, but the call stood. Good goal. Caps 0, Stars 1

Stars goal: Radek Faksa, unassisted at 4:04 in the 2nd period. Backstrom tried to clear a puck out of danger, but instead flicked right into Faksa who was quick to make Backstrom pay for the bad turnover. Caps 0, Stars 2

Stars goal: Jason Spezza from Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin at 5:58 in the 2nd period. A Stars’ dump-in around the boards eluded a waiting Dmitry Orlov and went right to Seguin. Seguin fed Benn who shot the puck wide, but collected it and fed it back to Spezza who beat Holtby with the slap shot. Caps 0, Stars 3

Caps goal: Nicklas Backstrom from Kevin Shattenkirk and Brooks Orpik. Shattenkirk found Backstrom in the slot with a beautiful pass and Backstrom redirected it into the net. Caps 1, Stars 3

Caps goal: T.J. Oshie from Nicklas Backstrom and Karl Alzner as 12:26 in the 3rd period. After a long stretch in the offensive zone, the Caps finally found paydirt as Oshie took a pass from Alzner, took it to the slot and fired a backhand past Lehtonen. Caps 2, Stars 3

Dallas goal: Patrick Sharp (empty netter), unassisted at 18:42 in the 3rd period. Caps 2, Stars 4

3 Stars

1. Kari Lehtonen: Dallas' goaltending situation may be the worst in the NHL. There are some nights, however, where Lehtonen can remind you why the Stars had so much faith in him. The Caps peppered Lehtonen with 44 shots on the night, 28 through the first two periods, but he turned aside 42 of them and is now 18-6-3 in his career against Washington.

2. Patrick Sharp: Sharp's heads up play in the first led to Dallas' opening goal. He also iced the game away with an empty netter in the third period.

3. Nicklas Backstrom: Backstrom had a horrific turnover in the second that led to Faksa's goal, but made up for it with a goal, an assist and seven shots on goal.

Look ahead: Time for the Caps to pack their bags. They will practice at Kettler on Tuesday and then head out west for the dreaded, three-game California road trip. Washington will be in San Jose on Thursday and then play Los Angeles and Anaheim in back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday.

Tell us what you think: The Capitals were burned by what looked like goalie interference on Shore’s goal in the first period, but after a review the call stood. Did the refs make the right call? Is it time to change the rules on goalie interference?

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Capitals vs. Wild: Time, TV Channel, Livestream, how to watch

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USA Today Sports

Capitals vs. Wild: Time, TV Channel, Livestream, how to watch

Despite the loss to the Lightning, the Capitals are coming off of arguably their best game of the season. Still, they look to bounce back against the Minnesota Wild Friday night at Capital One Arena.

The Wild have lost two straight games and are ranked fifth in the Central Division while the Caps are sitting atop the Metropolitan Division. 

Here's how to tune in to Capitals-Wilds on Friday. Coverage begins at 6:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

CAPITALS vs. WILD: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. Minnesota Wild, Game 75 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season

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

When: Friday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m. ET

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

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals vs. Wild 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. WILD TV SCHEDULE

6:00 PM: Caps FaceOff Live
6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live
7:00 PM: Capitals vs. Wild Live
9:30 PM: Capitals Postgame Live
10:00 PM: Capitals Overtime Live

CAPITALS vs. WILD INJURY REPORT

Capitals: Michal Kempny, D., Lower-body, Day-to-day.
Wild: Matt Dumba, D., Upper-body, Day-to-day. Mikko Koivu, C., Knee, Indefinitely. Luke Konin, C., Lower-body, Day-to-day.

CAPITALS vs. WILD SERIES HISTORY

Number of all-time meetings: 23 games

All-time series record: Caps lead the all-time series 14-9-0

Last Meeting: November 13, 2018: Caps beat Wild 5-2

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Capitals prospect report: New local prospect reflects growth of hockey in the DMV

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Instagram.com/@Capitals

Capitals prospect report: New local prospect reflects growth of hockey in the DMV

The Alex Ovechkin effect on Washington hockey was clear in June of 2018 when he hoisted the Stanley Cup over his head. His lasting legacy, however, may be about far more than just one championship banner.

On Monday, the Capitals signed Herndon, Va, native Joe Snively to an entry-level contract beginning in the 2019-20 season. Snively just finished his fourth year at Yale and is an alum of the Washington Little Capitals youth hockey program. His new NHL contract reflects the growth of hockey in the area at the youth level.

“When the Caps started to become successful, you could just see the amount of people in the local rinks,” Snively said Monday on a conference call. “It just started to increase. More kids wanted to play hockey. For sure, hockey in general, it became a hockey city. It's been really cool to witness and be a local of Northern Virginia and just see how the hockey community's just gotten so much bigger.”

“He's (evidence) of generations of players that are starting to come around thanks to Ovechkin and [Nicklas Backstrom] and the growth of the organization,” Capitals head coach Todd Reirden said. “It's going to be fun to watch the next few years the impact that they've been able to have on young hockey players and building the game of hockey in the area. It's just going to keep growing from there from what we were able to accomplish as a team last year. The overall numbers of players playing youth hockey and number of coaches that want to get involved in it is amazing and that's what it's all about: growing the game of hockey, for me. Our older guys that have been here for years have been great ambassadors and so fortunate to have such generational talents as a guy like Ovechkin and Backstrom and others. It's pretty neat to see it all kind of come full-circle."

Snively’s love for the Caps may have ultimately been cemented in a dentist’s office. Snively apparently shared the same dentist as Ovechkin growing up and ran into him while he was a kid.

"I was just waiting for my annual cleaning,” Snively said, “And Ovechkin came in -- he was obviously a lot younger than he is now because this might have been 10 years ago, I can't remember -- but of course, I recognized him. I had my hockey bag in the car because I was going to practice, and I got a pair of hockey gloves signed, which was funny."

Snively was a coveted free agent coming out of college. Frank Seravalli reported that more than 20 teams had expressed interest in signing him. While Snively said the number of teams he spoke with was much lower, it is clear that his love for the Caps growing up certainly played a role in him signing with Washington.

Snively confirmed this saying, “It for sure played a factor.”

"I love the Caps,” he added. “They're my favorite team. I root for them every year. It was really special to watch them win the Stanley Cup last spring, and I've been following them all the way since they wore the old black and gold jerseys. My dad's a season-ticket holder. Every year, I watch the Caps, so that kind of sums it up."

The fact that interest in the game is growing at the youth level and that it is producing talent reflects the growing popularity of the game in the area. That it can also help the Caps snipe a few of those homegrown players is also a definite plus.

Other prospect notes

  • Snively signed an amateur tryout agreement with Hershey on Wednesday. The Caps currently have the maximum of 50 contracts so Snively’s does not actually begin until next season. In order to play for Hershey then, he had to go this route and sign an amateur agreement.
  • Riley Barber now leads the AHL in goals with 31 and his 58 points ties him for fifth. He is also tied for first on the team in points with Mike Sgarbossa. I have gotten a lot of questions on Barber in recent days. I would have liked to see him get called up at some point given how great of a season he has had in Hershey, but I am not sure it makes sense to do it now at the tail end of the regular season. The fact is, the Caps still have 14 forwards on the roster and Devante Smith-Pelly in Hershey and I am not sure eight games with the Caps at fourth line minutes would be enough for Barber to prove he deserves a spot in the lineup over players like Nic Dowd, Chandler Stephenson, Dmitrij Jaskin, Travis Boyd or Smith-Pelly. One other thing to note is that 31 of his 58 points have come on the power play this season. That is not a bad thing at all, but Barber would not be getting any power play time in Washington so I am doubtful he would be able to step into the lineup and produce right away. I would have liked to see it earlier in the season, but for now the best place for him is Hershey for the playoff push.
  • The Bears’ remarkable turnaround now has them at third place in the Atlantic Division. After a slow start to the season, Hershey has gone 21-2-3-2 in its last 28 games. Two big factors in that turnaround have been Sgarbossa and goalie Ilya Samsonov. In those 28 games, Sgarbossa has 11 goals and 19 assists while Samsonov has gone 12-1-1-1 with a 1.64 goals against average and a .934 save percentage.
  • Aaron Ness leads all AHL defensemen with 43 assists. His 47 total points sits third in the league among blueliners.
  • Garrett Pilon scored the overtime winner in Tuesday’s game against rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He took the drop pass from Sgarbossa and ripped a shot top-shelf for the win. You can see the highlights of the game here:


  • Pilon leads Bears rookies with 30 points. He managed only 11 points in his first 34 games, but has 19 points in his last 31.
  • Goalie Vitek Vanecek registered his second shutout of the season on Tuesday, turning aside all 17 shots he faced from the Penguins.
  • It’s playoff time for the junior leagues! In the OHL, Kody Clark helped the Ottawa 67s to a first place finish in the league with 17 goals and 46 total points in 57 games. Ottawa will play Hamilton in the first round of the playoffs.
  • In the WHL, Alex Alexeyev has been declared out of Red Deer’s first-round series against Prince Albert, according to the Red Deer Advocate. He was seen wearing a large knee brace as he accepted an award as the Red Deer Advocate’s Male Athlete of the Year award.
     
  • Erick Florchuk finished with 21 goals and 50 points in 68 games for Saskatoon while teammate Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen had 13 goals and 29 points in 62 games. Saskatoon will play Moose Jaw in the first round of the playoffs starting on Friday. Florchuk was also presented with the Heinrichs player of the month award on Friday.
  • Riley Sutter has yet to play in the 2019 calendar year and is listed as week-to-week. His WHL team, the Everett Silvertips, finished atop the U.S. Division and will play Tri-City in the first round of the playoffs.
  • Alex Kannok-Leipert scored five goals and 19 points in 67 games for the Vancouver Giants this season who will face Seattle in the first round of the playoffs.
  • It is also tournament time in the NCAA. Quinnipiac will have to wait until Friday’s selection show to discover where they will play in this year’s NCAA tournament. Chase Priskie had to watch his Bobcats get swept in the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals by Brown as he was serving a two-game suspension for a kicking penalty in the season finale. The good news for him is that he was named one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, just the third finalist in school history. He was also named ECAC Hockey First Team All-League.
  • Steven Spinner saw his season come to an end as Nebraska-Omaha was swept by Minnesota Duluth 2-0 in the NCHC Quarterfinals. Spinner scored two goals and four points in 29 games this season.
  • The season is also over for Benton Maass as well as New Hampshire was swept by UMass 2-0 in the Hockey East Quarterfinals. Maass had one goal and six points in 30 games. 

 

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