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Game 72: Capitals vs. Flames date, time, how to watch, game thread

Game 72: Capitals vs. Flames date, time, how to watch, game thread

After four straight regulation losses, the Capitals look like they are back on track with a three-game point streak including two wins. And they needed every one of those points considering just how close the teams are in the standings. On Tuesday, however, the Caps face a very difficult challenge in the Calgary Flames. Calgary has gone 12-1-0 in their last 13, but will be without star rookie Matthew Tkachuk who received a two-game suspension for an elbow he delivered to Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. Washington also has a question mark in the form of defenseman Brooks Orpik who did not practice on Monday due to a "maintenance day."

What: Washington Capitals vs. Calgary Flames

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET. (Capitals GameTime gets things started at 6:30 p.m. ET)

How to Watch: Capitals vs. Flames will be broadcast on CSN. (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals vs. Flames game on CSN's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-FLAMES GAME?

The Capitals (46-17-8) take on the Flames (41-27-4) Tuesday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Verizon Center.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-FLAMES GAME ON?

The Capitals-Flames game will be broadcast on CSN. Capitals GameTime gets things started at 6:30 p.m. ET with Capitals Extra recapping the all the action following the game and Caps in 30 at 11 p.m. (CSN channel Finder)

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-FLAMES GAME?

The Capitals-Flames game, as well as the pre and postgame shows, is available to stream live here through CSN's live stream page and is available to authenticated CSN Mid-Atlantic subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

WHAT ARE THE LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-FLAMES GAME?

Here are the projected lines based on Monday's practice:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson

Defense

Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Kevin Shattenkirk

Goalies
Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches
Nate Schmidt, Taylor Chorney

CAPITALS-FLAMES OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals Digital Producer JJ Regan and the CSN Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and CSN's Facebook page.

Keep up with all the action here with Capitals GameZone and join in on the conversation here with Capitals Pulse.

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Braden Holtby is the Capitals' round robin MVP and T.J. Oshie redeems himself

Braden Holtby is the Capitals' round robin MVP and T.J. Oshie redeems himself

The Capitals finished off the round robin on Sunday with a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins to claim third place and a first-round matchup against the New York Islanders.

Check out a recap of the game here.

Observations from the win

What a difference a game makes

There was a lot of hand-wringing and pessimism around the Caps after Thursday’s loss. Heading into Sunday’s game, the Caps were winless in the round robin, had played poorly against Philadelphia and were facing perhaps a last-place finish with a rematch against the Carolina Hurricanes on the horizon. That perception is a bit different after Sunday’s game. The Caps beat the Bruins, really were the better team for much of the game against Tampa Bay and only lost in a shootout. Now Washington will move on to play what looks like a much more favorable matchup against the New York Islanders.

There are some positives to take away from the round robin

Overall, did the Caps play like a Cup contender in the round robin? No. I think we can all agree they will have to be better, but there were some positives we can take from these three games. The penalty kill finished a perfect 8 out of 8 and it looked very good. After an awful regular season, Braden Holtby was the team's best player in the round robin. He acknowledged after the game that the pause in the season gave him time to "to fix a few things and work on a few things" and the improvement has been evident. The team defense also improved drastically as compared to Thursday's game.

It should also be noted that the Caps played the round robin without its best defenseman. Though John Carlson's status remains in question, if he is ready for the start of the playoffs, his addition will instantly make the team better on the back end which is its biggest weakness to this point. 

There's still room for improvement

Sunday's game was a step in the right direction, but there are some issues the team needs to improve on if it hopes to make a deep playoff run. The power play remains just a black hole on offense. It generated some chances on Sunday, but as a whole, through the round robin it has looked atrocious. This should be one of the team's biggest strengths, but instead they just cannot generate anything with the extra man.

Also, defense quite clearly remains the Achilles heel of the team. While Sunday was progress, the team has to be able to find the right balance between pushing the tempo offensively and playing strong defense. Washington had only two shots on goal through the first period as the team looked far too conservative. It has to improve on that while also not exposing themselves too much defensively. You're not going to be able to out-defense the Islanders so two shots on goal in a period is not going to cut it.

RELATED: HOW HAVE CAPS FARED VERSUS BARRY TROTZ, ISLANDERS IN 2019-20?

Turning point

T.J. Oshie had a golden opportunity late in the first period with a nice steal from Charlie McAvoy. Oshie saw McAvoy pinch in the offensive zone so he charged, chipped away the puck and launched a 2-on-1 in the other direction. Oshie carried the puck and called his own number, but missed the shot badly.

Oshie redeemed himself later in the period, however, as he beat Zdeno Chara to the puck on the doorstep and shot it home to give Washington the 1-0 lead. It was the Caps' second shot on goal of the period and it came in the final minute.

Play of the game

David Pastrnak may have been onto something with Tom Wilson. In the third period, Ilya Kovalchuk cleared the puck out of the defensive zone and Wilson sprinted down the ice to beat two Bruins claim the puck behind the defense. He pulled the puck backhand to forehand and fired a quick shot off the post and into the top shelf.

Stat of the game

The Caps killed off both power plays they faced on Sunday and were perfect on the penalty kill through the round robin.

Quote of the game

Sunday's win will mean the Caps will play Barry Trotz and the New York Islanders in Round 1 of the playoffs. Reirden was asked about the history between the coaching staffs heading into the series:

"It's not Barry Trotz vs. Todd Reirden"

Fan predictions

He certainly did. He recorded a game-high seven hits in his 15:14 of ice time. He had a Corsi-For percentage of 54.6-percent while only 16.7-percent of his shifts were offensive zone starts. That means he was not getting sheltered minutes. It was a good night for him.

You were half right. Holtby was certainly Washington's best player.

Thank goodness this was wrong.

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David Pastrnak’s tweet praising Tom Wilson proves to be prophetic in Caps-Bruins

David Pastrnak’s tweet praising Tom Wilson proves to be prophetic in Caps-Bruins

When the NHL season came to a halt in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bruins forward David Pastrnak was tied with Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin for most goals in the league with 48. So, it's safe to say Pastrnak knows a thing or two about finding the back of the net.

So, when the Bruins' star tweeted a couple of weeks ago that he thought Capitals' forward Tom Wilson was the best goal scorer in the NHL, everyone was a little bit confused. 

On Sunday, the two teams squared off for the first time since Pastrnak's tweet, with Washington earning its first victory in the Toronto bubble with a 2-1 win over Boston. And it was none other than Wilson who scored the decisive goal for the Capitals.

Once the final horn sounded and Washington's victory was official, the Capitals official Twitter account pulled an ultimate troll move and reposted Pastrnak's original tweet with the caption, "bump."

The Capitals' victory on Sunday earned them the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Bruins -- the NHL's points leader when the season paused in March -- falls to the fourth spot in the standings after going winless in the three-game round robin.

Washington will face a familiar foe in the New York Islanders in the first round, while the Bruins will face the red-hot Carolina Hurricanes in a rematch of the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals.

Stay connected to the Capitals with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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