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Galiev willing to wait his turn with Capitals

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Galiev willing to wait his turn with Capitals

As a rookie right wing, Stan Galiev gets it. He sees T.J. Oshie, Andre Burakovsky, Justin Williams and Tom Wilson occupying the top four right wing spots on the Caps’ roster and knows it may take an injury for him to get into the lineup.

“I’m ready to play, and I want to have my chance, and if I have my chance I’m going to use it,” said Galiev, who on Tuesday participated in his first practice with the Capitals after returning from a 10-day conditioning assignment with the AHL Hershey Bears.

“We have a great team here and we want to stay healthy and everybody is excited we’re winning games. So I need to stay positive.”

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Despite recording three goals in five games with Hershey, where he averaged over 20 minutes of ice time, Galiev, 23, seems resigned to the fact that he is 13th on the Caps’ forward depth chart and that it may take an injury or poor play for him to get  into the lineup.

 “I have to prepare myself mentally,” said Galiev, who has one assist in two games for the Caps, averaging 9:39 in ice time. “I’ve got to play smart like NHL players. That’s how Trotzy wants me to play – a simple game, get the pucks deep, play hard in the D zone, hard on the walls.”

Those are probably not the qualities that attracted the Capitals to Galiev, whose slick offensive skills led to him being taken by the Caps in the third round of the 2010 draft and led to him leading the Bears with 25 goals last season.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz acknowledged that developing young and inexperienced players like Galiev while continuing to win hockey games is a balancing act.

“I think we’ve got to come up with a little bit of a plan,” Trotz said. “I talked to him about some areas where I know he can improve, so let’s start working on that through practice and through individual skill work.

“We’ll get him in fairly shortly. We have to. We have to balance not only trying to win hockey games but also developing people in our organization. If you’re not winning it’s harder to have as much flexibility because there’s not a lot of trust because there isn’t a big body of (NHL) work. That’s the biggest thing. We need to win.”

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

The Eastern Conference Final is going the distance!

After losing three straight to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Capitals won Game 6 to force a Game 7 in Tampa Bay. Can the Caps beat the Lightning one more time and advance to the Stanley Cup Final?

JJ Regan, Tarik El-Bashir and special guest cameraman Mike D break it all down.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to schedule and time constraints, this podcast was recorded by phone and the audio quality is not up to our usual standards.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Caps push Lightning around in Game 6 with physical game plan

Caps push Lightning around in Game 6 with physical game plan

As the NHL continues to focus more on speed and skill, the Capitals took a very old-school approach to Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. From the moment the puck dropped until the clock hit zero, it was clear Washington came into Monday with a very physical game plan.

"It made a big difference," T.J. Oshie said. "I think in these games, everyone’s bringing energy and you kind of want to control that and direct it towards some positive play, some momentum building for your team, and tonight I think we handled that and did that pretty well."

"We just wanted to throw everything we had at them," Stephenson said. "It was a do or die game and we don't want our season to end."

It worked.

The scoresheet officially credited the Caps with 39 hits for the game. The Lightning had only 19. The physical play seemed to wear down Tampa Bay as the game went on.

After an even first period, Washington took a 1-0 lead in the second. Then, very fittingly, a physical fourth line extended that lead to 2-0 in the third to finish the Lightning off.

"All of a sudden now we turn a puck over, you’re back in your end, they’re feeling it, they’re being physical, crowd’s behind them and we’re spending way too much time in our D zone," Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said. "That’s what hurt us."

What made it so effective was the fact that the entire team bought into it. Alex Ovechkin was certainly the most noticeable player as he threw himself around like a wrecking ball against everyone wearing a white jersey. But it was not just his line. Tom Wilson and Brooks Orpik each led the team with six hits, Devante Smith-Pelly recorded five of his own while Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom both had four.

The Lightning faced a constant barrage from the Caps from every line and defensive pair. There was no respite.

The hits also gave the fans plenty to cheer for.

The Caps were playing an elimination game at home and Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was standing on his head. Even with the score locked at 0-0 through the first period, the crowd was still very much into the game. There was no apprehension, there was no quiet tension. There was just a loud crowd cheering on its team.

"[The fans] were loud right from the start, which I think we fed off of and wanted to give them something back," Brooks Orpik said. "We didn't get a goal early. I think some of the physical play kind of helped carry that. They were great for us."

Now in the third round of the playoffs after six intense games between the Caps and Lightning, the hope is that Game 6's physical play will continue to take its toll on Tampa Bay heading into Game 7.

"We need to do that every game," Nicklas Backstrom said. "That's our forecheck. Hopefully, we can keep it going here in Game 7."

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