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Capitals stock watch: Caps regulars return to action against the Blues

Capitals stock watch: Caps regulars return to action against the Blues

The Caps earned their second win of the preseason on Monday with a 2-1 shootout win over St. Louis. It was the strongest lineup the Caps have featured yet this preseason.

3 players who impressed

Paul Carey: Hardwork is often rewarded in games and that was the case on Monday for Paul Carey. Carey was the Caps' lone goal-scorer in the team's 2-1 shootout win against the St. Louis Blues as he deflected a shot from Zach Sill over the shoulder of Blues goalie Carter Hutton. The goal reflected the type of camp Carey is having. Often overshadowed by the Caps' young prospects, the 28-year-old Carey has been very impressive in the preseason and he is leaving an impression on the coaching staff.

"He's had a really good camp," Trotz said. "Skating really well, he's producing, he's a very detailed player. He's had a good camp from before I was here and then since I've been here I thought he's been very effective in both games so that's good on him. ... He's making a statement in camp for sure."

Alex Ovechkin: When it comes to the preseason, some of the NHL regulars aren't putting in a full effort. They mail it in. It happens. When it comes to Alex Ovechkin, however, there's no such thing as half-speed. At least offensively. Ovechkin attempted a whopping 17 shots Monday in his preseason debut. Read that again: 17. Just as impressive is the fact that 10 of those shots were on net. Two of his shots missed their mark and another five were blocked. That's a full day's worth of work from one of the best players in the NHL.

Braden Holtby: Remember all that talk about whether Braden Holtby would be rusty after not playing in the World Cup? Yeah, not so much. In two preseason games he has turned aside 37 of the 39 shots he has faced. Though he said after the game there were things he still needs to work on, Holtby looks ready for the start of the regular season.

You can read more on Holtby's performance here.

3 players who need to show improvement

Taylor Chorney: It was a rough game for Taylor Chorney. Whenever he was on the ice, the play noticeably shifted into the Caps' end of the ice as the Blues began to exert control. He also whiffed completely on the Dmitrij Jaskin goal. As Jaskin tried to corral the puck behind the defense, Chorney had a chance to break up the play, but he overskated allowing Jaskin to easily carry the puck around him and put it into the back of the net. You have to take the body or take the puck, you can't miss both.

Zach Sanford: Barry Trotz was extremely complimentary of Sanford's play after the game, but clearly he is still adjusting with the switch from center to wing. Playing on the second line, Sanford had zero shot attempts through the first two periods. He seemed more hesitant than he had looked at any point in camp. Sanford made the move from center to wing and clearly he is still working through the transition. Still, Trotz had high praise for the young prospect.

"He made a number of Joel Ward type plays off the wall," Trotz said. "His puck poise in the small space and along the wall, I thought it was exceptional for just moving him over [to wing]."

The potential is there, he just needs more time to adjust to the new role.

Dmitry Orlov: Like Sanford, Dmitry Orlov is trying to adjust to his new growing role with the team. Part of that role will adjusting to playing on the penalty kill. Orlov played 2:37 shorthanded. He wasn't terrible, but it was clear that part of his game was still a work in progress. But Trotz likes Orlov's potential in that role.

"We want orly to grow," Trotz said. "We'll probably weigh that out where we want most of his growth to be in so he can focus in on one or two areas there and then it'll grow as he keeps maturing as a player. He's got great instincts, he's got real quick feet, he's got a good stick, quick stick and he's fearless when it comes to blocking shots and stuff like that. All those things said, yeah I could see him on the penalty kill."

One problem Orlov has last season was that his major mistakes always seemed to come at the most inopportune times. That happened again on Monday as Orlov was whistled for interference late in the third in a tie game. He's got to cut down on those mistakes if he wants to become a dependable, top-four defenseman.

MORE CAPITALS: Instant: Capitals top Blues in preseason shootout

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Capitals vs. Panthers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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Capitals vs. Panthers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Washington Capitals (3-2-1, 7pts) are coming off of an overtime thriller at home over the Rangers thanks to Matt Niskanen's crafty timing.

Through the first six games of the season, Washington is undefeated on Wednesdays, yet has failed to win consecutive games. The Caps hope to change that trend Friday night at home vs. the Florida Panthers (0-2-2, 2pts).

The Panthers have yet to win a game this season, with each of the four games being decided by just one goal. The Panthers have no problem scoring, netting at least five goals in two of the first four games, but have failed to seal the deal. This is where the defending Stanley Cup champions will need to capitalize.

Only the Maple Leafs (33) and Hurricanes (33) have scored times more than the Capitals (24). Washington has a clear advantage in firepower. The biggest key to victory is keeping the space in front of Braden Holtby clean as a whistle. If the Caps control their goalmouth, they should have no issues dispatching the Panthers.

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-PANTHERS GAME: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers

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

When: Friday, October 19, 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Capitals-Panthers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

Live Stream: Watch Capitals vs. Panthers on the NBC Sports Washington live stream page and the NBC Sports MyTeams App.

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

CAPITALS-PANTHERS TV SCHEDULE:

6:00 PM: Caps FaceOff Live
6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live
7:00 PM: NHL: Florida Panthers at Capitals 
9:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live
10:00 PM: Caps Overtime Live

CAPITALS vs. PANTHERS INJURY REPORT:

Capitals: Travis Boyd (OUT, IR), Tom Wilson (OUT, Suspension)

Panthers: Michael Haley (OUT, Leave of Absence), Roberto Luongo (OUT, MCL injury), Mike Matheson (OUT, Suspension) 

CAPITALS vs. PANTHERS PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Evgenii Dadonov, W, Panthers: Dadonov is leading the Panthers this season with two goals and two assists on the season.

John Carlson, D, Capitals: Carlson had a heck of a game vs. the Rangers Wednesday night with a goal and two assists. The Capitals practiced faceoffs in practice leading up to Wednesday night's game and all of the practice paid off with Carlson's goal coming right off the faceoff from Backstrom. 

CAPITALS vs. PANTHERS SERIES HISTORY

Number of all-time Meetings: 123

All-Time Series Record: 64-50-9

Playoff Record: N/A

Last Meeting: Panthers beat Capitals 3-2 (2/22/2018)

Last 10 Meetings: Tied 5-5 

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What’s next for Capitals' Tom Wilson?

What’s next for Capitals' Tom Wilson?

On Thursday, Tom Wilson appealed his 20-game suspension to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. So what happens now?

Wilson was suspended 20-games for a hit he delivered to St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in the preseason. The NHLPA filed an appeal on Wilson’s behalf which led to his hearing on Thursday.

There is no specific timeline on when Bettman will issue a decision so for now, Wilson will have to wait.

When a decision is reached, he will have two options of how to proceed. First, he can accept the commissioner’s decision and serve whatever suspension remains. As of Thursday, he has currently served six games out of the original 20-game suspension.

Wilson also has the option of a second appeal. For suspensions of six games or more, a player can file a subsequent appeal to a neutral arbitrator. The arbitrator is given authority to issue a ruling based on whether the league’s finding of a violation of the rules and the penalty imposed were both supported by substantial evidence, meaning both the hit itself and the length of suspension will be reviewed.

This can be a lengthy process.

The most recent example of a player appealing to a neutral arbitrator is Nashville’s Austin Watson. He was suspended 27 games by the NHL on Sept. 12 for domestic assault. On Oct. 12 an arbitrator reduced the suspension to 18 games.

Given the serious nature of domestic assault, it should be noted that Wilson and Watson’s respective transgressions are in no way comparable. This example is used merely to illustrate how long the process can take.

Another example is that of Dennis Wideman who was suspended 20 games in 2016 for hitting and injuring a referee. His suspension was ultimately reduced to 10 games by an arbitrator, but by that time he had already served 19 games.

Wilson will remain suspended throughout the appeals process.

Obviously he would like to return to the ice as quickly as possible, but even if his appeal drags out and Wilson is forced to sit for most or all of those 20 games, he still can recoup some of the money he will forfeit from this suspension (over $1.2 million) which will make the arbitrator’s decision still relevant for him personally.

Should Wilson serve the full 20-game suspension, he will be eligible to return to play on Nov. 21 when the Caps host the Chicago Blackhawks.

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