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Give blood, get a Justin Williams bobblehead

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Give blood, get a Justin Williams bobblehead

Christmas may be over but the Capitals are offering you the chance to give the gift that keeps giving when they team up with Inova Blood Donor Services for a blood drive on Saturday, Jan. 9, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington.

Appointments are required and blood drive donors will receive a bobblehead of forward Justin Williams as well as a Capitals T-shirt.

More than 250 units of blood and blood products are needed every day, year-round, for patients in area hospitals. One blood donation can save up to three lives, and there is a continual need for all blood types. 

There is no substitute for human blood. It only comes from volunteer blood donors. It is used to help trauma patients, surgery patients, newborn babies, cancer patients and transplant patients.

Donors can make an appointment by calling 1-866-BLOODSAVES (1-866-256-6372) or by signing up online on the Inova Blood Donor Services Website. All donors are asked to arrive at their scheduled appointment time.

RELATED Trotz says Caps recipients of post-fight karma

To give blood, donors must be feeling generally well on the day of their donation, must be at least 16 years old (with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and not have donated blood in the past eight weeks (56 days) for whole blood or 112 days for double red cells. For more information about eligibility requirements call 1-866-BLOODSAVES or visit inova.org/donateblood.

Aspects of each potential donor's health history are discussed as part of the donation process before any blood is collected. Each donor receives a brief examination during which temperature, blood pressure and hemoglobin (iron level) are measured.

Inova Blood Donor Services is the major supplier of blood products in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

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First-round draft pick Alex Alexeyev highlights Capitals' first round of roster cuts

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NBC Sports Washington

First-round draft pick Alex Alexeyev highlights Capitals' first round of roster cuts

Several up and coming youngsters within the Washington Capitals' organization were sent back to their junior teams Wednesday, marking the team's first cuts of 2018 training camp.

Headlining the group is Russian defenseman Alex Alexeyev. The 18-year-old, who stands 6-4 and weighs just south of 200 pounds, was selected by the Caps with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Don't forget Mr. Irrelevant, either. Washington selected Eric Florchuk from the Saskatoon Blades with the very last pick in the seventh and final round of the draft.

Here's what he can do on the ice.

Kody Clark, Riley Sutter, Alex Kannok-Leipert and Kristian Marthinsen were other notable names asked to pack their bags. 

The Capitals open the 2018-19 season at home against the Boston Bruins Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m.

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Battling for Jay Beagle's former spot, Nic Dowd and Travis Boyd are making it a hard decision

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AP Images

Battling for Jay Beagle's former spot, Nic Dowd and Travis Boyd are making it a hard decision

With almost no competition at training camp this season, Tuesday’s preseason game was important because it featured players competing for just about the only spot in the lineup up for grabs. Both Nic Dowd and Travis Boyd have their sights set on replacing Jay Beagle at fourth line center and both players were in the lineup against the Boston Bruins.

Dowd is a penalty killer and strong in the face-off circle, while Boyd has a much higher offensive upside. Both players played to their strengths in Tuesday’s preseason loss.

Dowd had only one shot on goal, but was very good on the face-off, winning 12 of the 17 draws he took. On the Caps, only Jayson Megna had a higher win percentage, but that’s because he took and won only one face-off.

“That’s an integral role to any team’s success,” head coach Todd Reirden said after the game. “Certainly we were able to benefit from having faceoff success especially in that dot with a right-hand centerman taking those draws.”

Beagle was easily Washington’s top face-off man while he was with the Caps and Dowd knows it is an important role he will be looked upon to fill if he hopes to make the team.

"There's no hiding behind the fact that they lost a right-handed centermen who took a lot of face-offs,” Dowd said. “And thus I'm here as a right-handed centerman. So, I think I'd be naive not to realize that … So, I will continue to work on that and continue to make it a big part of my game."

Boyd tried to show what he would bring offensively with three shots on goal and four total attempts. He pulled off a couple of nice curl-and-drag moves as well showing off his stickhandling capabilities.

“I liked [Boyd’s] game and his ability to add offensively and do some things that way,” Reirden said.

While having an offensive upside is important, a fourth line player is looked upon to fill other roles on the team as well. So, while it is not a role he is typically accustomed to playing, it came as no surprise to see Reirden experiment with Boyd on the penalty kill Tuesday.

“My first time playing PK in a while too,” Boyd said. “I thought it went well. There's little things that, first game in a while so just getting used to playing at that speed again and all the contact and stuff, but overall I thought it was pretty good.”

Boyd was not typically used on the penalty kill in Hershey and it is not a role he is well accustomed to in the NHL.

But it was a role that Beagle played for the Caps and is also a role that Dowd is very familiar with. He was also on the penalty kill Tuesday and looked very much at home.

“Penalty kill, I felt really good,” he said. “I think those shifts allowed me to get into the game.”

“He did a good job on the penalty kill,” Reirden said. “He continues to be as expected in what we’ve researched and seen from him and he was all of that tonight.”

Reirden was complimentary of both Dowd and Boyd after the game, both of whom played well. But their contrasting styles of play were on full display. The competition for fourth line center may well come down to what role Reirden is looking for on a given night rather than either player simply outplaying the other to “win” the spot.

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