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Capitals top Hurricanes in 2015 preseason opener


Capitals top Hurricanes in 2015 preseason opener

Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 2-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes Monday night in their preseason opener at Verizon Center:

How it happened: Tom Wilson broke a scoreless tie 3:31 into the third period, snapping a pass from defenseman Christian Djoos inside the left post for his first goal of the preseason. Derek Roy made it 2-0 with 6:49 remaining in regulation, firing a shot off the right shoulder of Hurricanes goaltender Drew MacIntyre. Caps goalies Braden Holtby (14 saves) and Dan Ellis (12 saves) combined for the shutout. 

Wild child: Before the game, Capitals coach Barry Trotz referred to Wilson as a “wild child” capable of dominating with his wrists as well as his fists. The 21-year-old right winger delivered in the third period, ripping a shot past goalie Drew MacIntyre. Wilson scored just four goals in 64 games last season and spent his summer in Toronto working on his puck skills. 

Holtby perfect: Braden Holtby stopped all 14 shots he faced in his first start for the Capitals since Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Truth be told, Holtby missed the first 36 seconds of the game because of an equipment issue. He replaced Dan Ellis after the first stoppage.


Ellis also perfect: Dan Ellis had to reach back to make a stop with his goal stick minutes after replacing Holtby with 7:11 remaining in the second period and stopped a flurry of Canes chances in the third to preserve the shutout.

Oshie and Ovi: Alex Ovechkin and T. J. Oshie generated several scoring chances while playing on a top a line with Evgeny Kuznetsov. In the first period Ovechkin hit Oshie in stride with a cross-ice pass. Oshie spun around and fired a shot wide of the net. In the third period Kuznetsov fed Ovechkin for a one-timer that knuckled into the glove of MacIntyre.

Loving Orlov: Defenseman Dmitry Orlov was very assertive in his first NHL game since the end of the 2013-14 season. Sidelined all of last season with a wrist injury, Orlov jumped into holes for shots, killed penalties and absorbed a big block on a slapper by Canes defenseman Ryan Murphy.

Special teamers: The Caps’ first power play unit had Ovechkin in the high left circle, Matt Niskanen at the high point, Evgeny Kuznetsov on the half wall, Derek Roy on the goal line and T.J. Oshie in the slot. The second unit had Jason Chimera, Carter Camper, Jakub Vrana, Ovechkin and Connor Carrick. The Caps’ penalty killing pairs were comprised of Chimera and Oshie; and Wilson and Laich; with defense pairings of Niskanen and Karl Alzner; and Orlov and Arron Ness.  

What’s next: The Caps will visit the Boston Bruins Tuesday night, when Philipp Grubauer and Justin Peters are expected to split time between the pipes.    

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

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

The Washington Capitals are facing off against the Philadelphia Flyers in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, March 24 at 12:30 p.m. The Capitals are recovering from a 1-2 loss against the Minnesota Wild, and the Philadelphia Flyers are playing the Islanders at 1 p.m. on Saturday, but beat the Blackhawks 3-1 on Thursday.

Here’s everything you need to know to watch the Flyers play the Capitals on Sunday afternoon.


What: Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
When: 12:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals vs. Flyers on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.
Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM


10:00 AM: Capitals Championship Parade 
11:00 AM: 2019 Caps Journey to the Cup Part 1
11:30 AM: Caps FaceOff Live
12:00 PM: Caps FaceOff Live [NBC Sports Washington Plus]
3:00 PM: Caps Postgame Live
3:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live
3:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live [NBC Sports Washington Plus]


Michal Kempny, lower body injury as of March 19

Michael Raffl, undisclosed injury as of March 20
Samuel Morin, illness as of March 18
Michal Neuvirth, lower body injury as of Jan. 3


Brett Connolly (20 goal, 22 assists, 42 points): Connolly was the only Capital to put a point on the board during Friday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. He scored in the second period, tying the game going into the third. He’s scored three goals in the team’s last five games and has contributed with three assists.

Christian Djoos (1 goal, 7 assists, 8 points): Djoos played against Minnesota on Friday following Michal Kempny’s “indefinite” injury leave. Djoos didn’t contribute to the Caps with any key stats, though he played for almost 17 minutes and had two shots on goal. 


Number of all-time Meetings: 247 games
Regular Season Record: Flyers lead 127-101-19
Last Meeting: Capitals won 5-2 on March 14


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An emotional hangover leaves Capitals flat in 2-1 loss to Wild

An emotional hangover leaves Capitals flat in 2-1 loss to Wild

WASHINGTON – The Capitals were not quite ready to play on Friday against the Minnesota Wild and maybe you can’t blame them. 

Coming off one of the season’s most intense games, a wild 5-4 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, one of three games this month against the Presidents’ Trophy winners, Washington didn’t have it for a Wild team it had beaten eight times in a row. That 2-1 defeat offered a lesson they need to carry forward for the final two games of this homestand at Capital One Arena. 

The Capitals (43-24-8, 94 points) couldn’t match the desperation of a Minnesota team that entered the day one point out of a playoff position in the Western Conference. The Wild had to win. Washington would have liked a win. The difference showed on the ice.

“It was obviously a different game that way. I think you could tell they got more desperate as the game went on,” goalie Braden Holtby said. “They don't give up much, they're pretty stingy defensively. After coming off some emotional games lately I think we didn't ramp it up enough for this one, for their situation, how they were playing. It was a close game. It was one that we'd like to play a bit better, but we still did a lot of good things."

They just didn’t do enough of them consistently. The Philadelphia Flyers (80 points) are on the fringe of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference and down to their final gasps of breath. Expect a similar effort from them on Sunday afternoon when they visit Capital One Arena. For the Capitals, who lead the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders by three points (93), they need a win on this four-game homestand.

Another loss will suddenly put the Metropolitan Division back in play for multiple teams. The Islanders also have an extra game remaining and know they play in Washington on the final day of the regular season April 6. 

“We can use this and learn from it,” defenseman Nick Jensen said. “These teams are desperate for points and we still need to be, too.”

The Capitals weren’t bad; they just didn’t match Minnesota’s level. They were 0-for-3 on the power play, and on two of those attempts, didn’t generate any shots on goal. A couple of mistakes – a Brooks Orpik misplay late in the first period and a Matt Niskanen turnover in the neutral zone – led directly to goals by Jordan Greenway and Luke Kunin. Holtby stopped 25 of 27 shots.

But it never felt like enough. Brett Connolly tipped home a shot from Jensen in the second period. But there weren’t enough puck battles won, there weren’t enough pucks sent behind the Minnesota defensemen. It was an average game and that was never going to be enough tonight. The Wild moved into sole possession of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Capitals stayed where they were in the standings.  

“That was a very intense game [against Tampa Bay], three games in four days for us, but that's a game that they deserved to win more than us,” Capitals coach Todd Reirden said. “Our execution level and desperation wasn't as high as theirs was and they were able to convert on a couple more of their chances than we did.”

Added captain Alex Ovechkin: "Everybody needs points right now, and it doesn't matter who you play against, it's not going to be an easy one, especially a team who fights for a playoff spot. It's playoff hockey. I don't think we were ready tonight, and the blame's on us."