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Caps' Alex Ovechkin to sit out NHL All-Star Game in Nashville

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Caps' Alex Ovechkin to sit out NHL All-Star Game in Nashville

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will not be playing in the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday in Nashville, Capitals coach Barry Trotz confirmed following Wednesday night’s game against the Flyers at Verizon Center.

TSN's Elliotte Friedman first reported the news.

Trotz confirmed Ovechkin will be suspended one game for his decision to skip the All-Star Game. That one-game suspension will be served next Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers at Verizon Center.

Ovechkin, 30, was the leading vote-getter among Metropolitan Division players and was named captain of the Metro All-Stars.

Ovechkin has been selected to play in six NHL All-Star Games but sat out the 2011-12 All-Star Game in Ottawa after he was suspended by the league just before All-Star weekend.

Trotz said Ovechkin has been bothered by an injury since November.

On Tuesday Ovechkin said he was “looking forward” to playing in Sunday’s All-Star Game and said the decision not to play was a "last-minute" one.

“Probably (for) most of the guys going it’s going to be hard to skate," Ovechkin said on Tuesday, "because we are going to spend there like two days before the game, so probably lots of guys going out and do some crazy stuff, but it’s OK. We’re going to do something special for the fans and it’s going to be fun.”

On Tuesday Capitals coach Barry Trotz, who will coach the Metro All-Stars, said he is concerned about players getting injured in the league’s new 3-on-3 All-Star format.

“When you’re fatigued you can actually probably blow a groin or something,” Trotz said. “If you have any kind of low back or groin issues, those are things that could lead to re-injury.”

Ovechkin leads the Caps with 28 goals and is third on the club with 42 points.

Ovechkin has played in four All-Star Games and last season lobbied for a car that was eventually donated to the American Special Hockey Association.

[RELATED: Backstrom, Holtby selected to NHL All-Star Game]

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Caps come out on top after crazy third period in Chicago

Caps come out on top after crazy third period in Chicago

The Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks exchanged five goals in the third period, but it was the Caps who came out on top on Sunday in a 5-3 win. The game is the first of a five-game road swing for Washington who have now won three straight.

Here is how the Caps beat the Blackhawks.

Special teams

Washington held a 2-1 lead at the end of two periods with one power play goal and one shorthanded goal. Chicago was firing pucks at the net from everywhere with 84 total shot attempts for the game at 5-on-5. The Caps did not appear to be getting outplayed, but clearly Chicago was getting more pressure at even strength. The special teams definitely gave the Caps the edge with one power play goal while yielding none to the Blackhawks.

Both units the power play and shorthanded were perfect on the night, the power play converting on its lone opportunity and the penalty kill fending off all four of Chicago’s power plays.

Great work on the power play

This is how you draw it up.

Alex Ovechkin came charging in on Jonathan Toews to force a turnover off the faceoff. Nicklas Backstrom chipped the puck into the corner away from the penalty killers. Evgeny Kuznetsov won a puck battle with Duncan Keith to take possession of the puck. T.J. Oshie then came charging into the slot for the pass from Kuznetsov and fired the shot high glove side for the goal.

That was a beautiful all-around play by the top unit.

Two quick responses

Drake Caggiula tied the game at 1 in the second period and suddenly the momentum was all on Chicago’s side. Just one minute later, Chandler Stephenson was given a double-minor for high-sticking Kirby Dach. This was Chicago’s moment to take control of the game. Instead, it proved to be the turning point for Washington. Patrick Kane turned the puck over on the power play and Carl Hagelin picked it up and was off to the races, sparking a 2-on-1 with Nic Dowd. Hagelin made the pass to Dowd who fired a shot. Crawford was beaten glove-side for the second time for what was Dowd’s second goal in as many games.

Chicago was given the double-minor power play exactly one minute after tying the game. Just 28 seconds after that, the Caps retook momentum with the shorthanded goal. The Blackhawks’ power play, which had looked dangerous to that point, completely fizzled through the rest of the double-minor.

Washington dominated most of the game, but a Patrick Kane goal in the third period tied the game at 3 and once again, momentum seemed to be entirely in Chicago's favor. Once again, the Caps responded.

Lars Eller took the puck in the offensive zone, wheeled around behind the net and fired a puck on the sharp angle at Crawford. He made the save, but it went right to Hagelin. He centered the puck to Wilson who roofed it into the net for the game-winning tally.

Wilson's goal came less than two minutes after Kane had tied it at 3.
 
John Carlson’s brilliant pass

A slap shot from Michal Kempny went wide of the net and curled around the wall back towards the blue line. Carlson collected it and immediately fired it on the first touch cross-ice to Ovechkin for the one-timer. The assist gave Carlson his 18th point of the season which makes him the NHL’s sole leader in points.

Braden Holtby

Chicago was throwing a lot of rubber around in this one. They finished with 84 total shot attempts. Only 44 of those attempts made it on net, but Holtby was brilliant and turned aside 41 of those shots.

Until the shorthanded marker that took the wind out of the power play’s sails, Holtby was Washington’s best penalty killer with nine saves on the man advantage. Again he tracked the puck well in a game in which the Blackhawks were showing off their puck-moving skills with great passing plays and a lot of shots.

Holtby looks much improved after his brief reset and now has strung together two strong starts in a row.

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Capitals at Blackhawks Game 10: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

Capitals at Blackhawks Game 10: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

The Capitals are riding a two-game winning streak, and are looking to continue their winning ways as they start a five-game road swing.

Their first stop is Chicago against a Blackhawks team that has cracked .500 and is also riding their own two-game winning streak.

Whose streak will come to an end Sunday? Tune in to find out.

CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME 10: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals at Chicago Blackhawks

Where: United Center, Chicago, Ill.

When: Sunday, October 20, 7 pm.

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

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Blackhawks on NBC Sports live stream page.

Radio: Caps Radio 24/7

CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS TV SCHEDULE:

6:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live

6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live

7:00 PM: Capitals @ Blackhawks (LIVE)

9:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live

10:00 PM: Caps Overtime Live

10:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live

CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS INJURY REPORT:

Capitals:

RW Richard Panik, upper-body injury, week-to-week

Blackhawks:

LW Jonn Quenneville, hip injury, day-to-day

CAPITALS AT BLACKHAWKS PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Michal Kempny, D, Capitals (1-0-1)

After returning to the Caps lineup against the New York Rangers Friday night, Kempny felt right at home, potting his first goal of the season. Kempny will look to beat up on the team that traded him back in 2018, and he's had success in the past against them.

Alex DeBrincat, F, Chicago (2-2-4)

Don't be fooled by DeBrincat's 5-7 frame. The shifty forward has a deadly release and notched 41 goals last season, second on the Blackhawks. In the last two seasons, he's also feasted on the Capitals, notching two goals and two assists.

Patrick Kane, R, Chicago (2-5-7)

He doesn't have the nickname "Showtime" for nothing. Kane led the Blackhawks in goals last season with 44, and leads the team in points this season.

CAPITALS at BLACKHAWKS SERIES HISTORY 

Number of all-time Meetings: 99

All-Time Series Record: 44-43-11-1

Last Meeting: Loss 8-5 (1/20/2019)

Last 10: Capitals lead 7-3

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