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Iafrate, Stephenson break first rule of camp

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Iafrate, Stephenson break first rule of camp

Before they hit the ice for a week of development camp, new Capitals coach Adam Oates advised his players to play hard between the whistles, but to refrain from dropping the gloves.

But when left wing Chandler Stephenson cross-checked defenseman Max Iafrate at the end of Thursdays scrimmage, the two decided to settle the score with their fists.

He kind of hit me after I shot the puck down the ice and then he cross-checked me, said Iafrate, who seemed to get the better of the fight. Its bound to happen when you get under someones skin.

Fighting is in the blood lines of both players. Iafrates dad, former Capitals defenseman Al Iafrate, piled up 1,301 penalty minutes in his 12-year career. Stephensons cousin, Joey Kocur, had 2,519 penalty minutes in his 14-year career.

Max Iafrate, who recorded 97 penalty minutes with Kitchener of the OHL last season, said he was aware of Oates rules, but said its tough to resist when youre adrenaline gets going.

Oates made it clear its not something he wants to see again before the camp ends on Saturday.

I did talk to the guys. I really dont want that, Oates said. Were all here under the Capitals umbrella. I know you want to show your stuff and theres plenty of time for that down the road. But they still get frustrated at times and I understand that as well.

Iafrate said hes had a good camp so far, saying he feels more explosive now that he dropped his playing weight from 208 pounds to 199.

Id like to drop another five, he said. Bulk is overrated. Its the quality of muscle and how explosive you are that matters. Im able to break away from guys now and I couldnt do that before.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

The Capitals are the Eastern Conference Champions!

After dispatching Tampa Bay in Game 7, the Caps claimed the conference crown for just the second time in franchise history. But they're not done yet. Now it's on to Vegas to face the Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup.

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps' win over the Lightning and look ahead to the matchup with the Knights.

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

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Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

In what is perhaps the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final pairing in recent memory, the Washington Capitals and the Las Vegas Golden Knights are going to make history this year.

Either it is going to be the first expansion team to win a title in their first season, or it will be a team looking to end a 27-year title drought for one of the biggest cities in the United States.

But what it will not be is the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup.

Going even farther back than the Capitals last Stanley Cup appearance (1998), the Georgetown Hoyas and UNLV Rebels met in the 1991 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sin City took the first, and up until now, the only postseason bout between these two cities. The Larry Johnson-led University of Las Vegas squad powered right past the Hoyas in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

[D.C. sports and Second Rounds, I know right?]

Coming fresh off the NCAA title in 1990, UNLV waltzed right to the Final Four before meeting their demise against Duke. It also ended up being the last game for Dikembe Mutombo in a Georgetown uniform.

While in all likely-hood this will not be the final game/ series for Alex Ovechkin rocking the red, it may be his last and only chance for him to play this far into a postseason.

In the past two seasons, Vegas has gone from zero professional teams to having a Stanley Cup contender, a WNBA franchise, and lined up to take over the Oakland Raiders in 2020. 

Now time for the Golden Knights' Cinderella story to come up a little bit short. 

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