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Caps' prospect Bowey nearly pulls off trifecta

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Caps' prospect Bowey nearly pulls off trifecta

At the end of last year’s training camp, before packing his bags and returning for a fourth season with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League, Capitals defensive prospect Madison Bowey said he had a few goals for the 2014-15 season.

One was to lead the Rockets to a WHL championship. Another was to represent Canada in the 2015 World Junior championships. And if he could take one last run at a Memorial Cup, that would be great, too.

Bowey did all three, following a gold medal in the 2015 World Juniors with a WHL title before falling one goal short of a Memorial Cup as Kelowna fell 2-1 in overtime to the OHL champion Oshawa Generals in the championship game on Sunday.

Bowey, 20, led all defensemen with five assists and six points in the tournament, was named to the Memorial Cup All-Star team.

“You’re always hoping your players, after you draft them, have good experiences,” Capitals assistant general manager Ross Mahoney said Monday. “It helps their learning curve. For Madison it was very good for his growth and his development.”

Selected by the Caps with the 53rd pick of the 2013 NHL draft, the 18th defenseman taken in that class, Bowey has grown into his 6-foot-2, 210-pound frame. He recorded 17 goals and 43 assists and was a plus-38 in 58 games with the Rockets in the regular season and added one goal and three assists in seven games for Team Canada in the World Juniors. He followed up his regular season with seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points and a plus-16 rating in 19 playoff games with Kelowna.

“He’s a very good athlete,” said Mahoney, who saw Bowey play in person about a half dozen times this season along with countless other times on television.  “Madison skates very well, he’s competitive, he has very good skill. He’s got good size and strength. He’s a good character player.”

Mahoney said an area Bowey could show improvement in his ability to keep things simple with the puck.

“When you get to be one of the older junior players you have a tendency to try to do a little too much every once in a while,” Mahoney said. “I think Madison can keep it simpler with the puck coming out of his end rather than trying to make an almost impossible play. I think he’ll learn when he’s in the pros that you need to move the puck a little quicker.”

Bowey signed a thee-year, entry-level contract with the Caps last year and is expected to begin his pro career with the organization next season. In all likelihood that will be in Hershey with the AHL Bears, but Mahoney is not ruling out Bowey stepping into the NHL next season.

“That’s up to Madison,” he said. “He needs to come in and have a good development camp [July 6-11] and then train hard the rest of the summer and come back for rookie camp and main camp and impress the coaches. They’ll decide where Madison begins the season. We’re very patient with most of our prospects.”

Mahoney likened Bowey’s development to that of Mike Green, Karl Alzner and John Carlson, each of whom spent at least one season in the AHL before playing a full-time role with the Capitals.

“I think it’s more difficult for a young defenseman to crack the NHL at a younger age than a forward,” he said. “There are players like [Florida Panthers rookie] Aaron Ekblad, but the further back you get to your net I think the harder it is sometimes.

“John and Karl went down to Hershey, played a lot together and won a Calder Cup. You need to play in order to develop and the American League is a very good developmental league. Mike Green did the same thing. He won a Calder Cup also. They need to play and handle the puck and work on their offense and their defense. That’s why we have the American League.”

[MORE CAPITALS: Season in review: Troy Brouwer

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How the Caps upset the Lightning to win the conference championship

How the Caps upset the Lightning to win the conference championship

It wasn't supposed to happen.

The Capitals celebrated too hard after beating the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Second Round. The Tampa Bay Lightning had been here before. Tampa Bay's roster was deeper. Their goalie was hotter. They had home ice advantage. They had easily won their first two series. Nicklas Backstrom was still injured. Washington wouldn't be able to stop the Lightning's power play.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

For all of those reasons, many did not even give the Caps a chance. Washington overcame every obstacle in their way and was, for the most part, the better team through seven games defeating Tampa Bay to win the Eastern Conference for just the second time in franchise history.

The Capitals showed in their second-round win over the Penguins that these weren't the "same old Caps." They continued to prove that in the conference final when they stunned the Lightning to win Game 1 and Game 2 both on the road.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

When Washington lost the next three, many thought that meant the real Lightning had awoken, but it was the Caps who rose to the occasion in Game 6 and Game 7 where they face elimination as they completely dominated Tampa Bay by a combined score of 7-0.

The Caps now advance to take on the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final. The Knights have lost only three games this entire postseason and will hope to carry that momentum with them into Game 1.

If there is one thing this Washington team has proven, however, it's that you should never count them out.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

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NHL Stanley Cup Final 2018: Capitals vs. Golden Knights full schedule announced, date, time, TV channel, how to watch

NHL Stanley Cup Final 2018: Capitals vs. Golden Knights full schedule announced, date, time, TV channel, how to watch

The Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights are the only two hockey teams left standing and will meet to decide the 2017-18 NHL Stanley Cup champion.

The Capitals advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1998, thanks to a 4-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

The Golden Knights, in their inaugural season, shocked the NHL world, defeating the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets to become the first team in major American professional sports history to reach the championship game in the franchise's first season.

The Capitals and Golden Knights met twice during the regular season, with Vegas coming out on top in both games. The Golden Knights blanked the Caps 3-0 in the Caps' first trip to Sin City, and bested the Caps 4-3 at Capital One Arena on Feb. 4.

Game 1 of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and Golden Knights takes place on Monday, May 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC and is available to be streamed online by using the NBC Sports App.

NBC Sports Washington will broadcast pre and postgame coverage of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and Golden Knights,  with Caps FaceOff and Caps GameTime preceding Capitals vs. Golden Knights puck drop and Caps Extra and Caps OverTime following the end of each game. 

2018 STANLEY CUP FINAL HOW TO WATCH

Game 1: Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Monday, May 28
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 2: Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Wednesday, May 30
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBCSN
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 3: Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Saturday, June 2
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBCSN
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 4: Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Monday, June 4
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 5 (If Necessary): Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Thursday, June 7
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 6 (If Necessary): Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Sunday, June 10
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 7 (If Necessary): Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Wednesday, June 13
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)
 

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