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Jason Chimera shares thoughts on Capitals' urgency and free agency

Jason Chimera shares thoughts on Capitals' urgency and free agency

On the ice, Capitals left wing Jason Chimera is known as the Ice Cheetah, a 37-year-old speedster who defies his own birth certificate.

Off the ice, Chimera is by far the loudest and often most unpredictable voice in the Capitals’ locker room.

Playing out the final year of his contract in Washington, Chimera gave his thoughts on a variety of topics as he and the Capitals prepared for their win-or-go-home Game 6 Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.

Here’s what he had to say:

On the Caps’ sense of desperation: “It’s do or die. Urgency should be pretty high. I think guys are ready for it. Guys were ready last game and guys are pretty excited again. We’ve got a good group of guys here and guys willing to battle for each other. … If we lose we’re out. It’s not really hard to get that sense of urgency and willingness to do anything to win one game. You see (Braden Holtby) with some big saves last game and guys diving all over the place. That desperation mode is really what we needed.” 

On planting seeds of doubt in the Penguins: “You can always put doubt in people’s minds. They wanted to come in there and win (Game 5) and they’re probably disappointed they didn’t win and now we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves and maybe they’re not. 

On players saying before Game 5 that they did not want this season to end: “No one was crying, no. (Maybe) a few tears. Guys want to win for each other. We’ve been through a lot together this year. Our captain (Alex Ovechkin) led the way in that meeting. He said some things and really backed it (up). You don’t want it to end. If we play our best we’re a pretty tough team to beat.”

On his future with the Capitals: “I’ve been here a long time (seven seasons) and I wouldn’t expect to be anywhere else next year, too. You want to win with these guys right now and whatever happens next year, happens next year. (Interrupted by kiss on the head by Evgeny Kuznetsov). Guys love each other in here. Kisses all over the place. Usually it’s on the lips. (Laughter). You don’t get on too many teams where you really do enjoy everybody’s company. Everyone enjoys coming to the rink and it’s a fun place to work and when you get that going for you good things happen.” 

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3 things to watch in Caps vs. Panthers

3 things to watch in Caps vs. Panthers

The Capitals play their last home game of October on Friday as they host the Florida Panthers (7 p.m., NBC Sports Washington). Here’s what you need to watch.

Dmitrij Jaskin is back in

Todd Reirden has made one adjustment to the lineup for Friday’s game, putting Dmitrij Jaskin back in on the fourth line in place of Nathan Walker. Jaskin has yet to record a point since joining the Capitals, but that has a lot to do with where he was coming from.

“This team is based on being creative and it's probably something that I missed in the last few years,” Jaskin said following Friday’s morning skate.

In St. Louis, Jaskin was coached by Mike Yeo and, before him, Ken Hitchcock. Both coaches preach a hard-nosed offensive style based more on effort and being defensively responsible than skill. Coming to a team like Washington then, a team that encourages skill and creativity on offense, is a pretty dramatic change.

Jaskin has played a very safe style since coming into the lineup. It’s good to be defensively responsible, but not if it completely chokes the life out of the offense. Jaskin is hardly generating any offense at all thus far since coming to Washington.

After a few more practices, can it finally spark some skill and creativity from Jaskin?

Can the Caps get the bottom six back on track?

The Caps have gotten only two goals in six games from their bottom six and both came in the team’s blowout opening win against Boston. The third and fourth lines generated some chances on Wednesday, but afterward, Reirden stressed that the team needed to see more production from its depth forwards.

“We've got to continue to get scoring depth wise if we want to have success in this league,” he said. “That's where everything's headed is you can't rely on your top guys to come through for you every night and we'll continue to focus on finding the right chemistry with that third and fourth line to be able to give us some added offense there as well.”

Florida could provide a good opportunity for those players to get some points on the board.

Starting goalie Roberto Luongo is out with an injury and James Reimer will get the start on Friday. In three games, Reimer has a GAA of 3.62 and save percentage of .885.

As a team, the Panthers currently rank 24th in goals against per game with 3.50.

Two teams in need of a win

Florida is still searching for its first win of the season with a 0-2-2 record. It is still early, but this is a Panthers team with playoff aspirations and you don’t want to dig yourself in too deep a hole to start or it becomes very difficult to dig out.

The Caps, meanwhile, will be playing in their final home game of October. They leave Saturday for Vancouver to kick-off a three-game Western Canada trip. They then will face the Canadiens in Montreal on Nov. 1 before finally returning home.

Washington’s next home game will not come until Nov. 3. That makes Friday’s game a big one for the Caps as they try to secure two points before hitting the road.

“It's definitely a big game,” Reirden said. “We want to build on some of the things we were able to accomplish last game. It's difficult anytime you go out west with time changes and different stuff. We know that [Florida is] going to be a desperate team that hasn't had the start that they want and they're talented so it's an important game for us to go on the road on a winning note.”


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The Ovechkin's posts family photo with newborn son Sergei


The Ovechkin's posts family photo with newborn son Sergei

Capitals star Alex Ovechkin had arguably the best summer of anyone.

In June, the Capitals won their first ever Stanley Cup, and in August, Ovechkin and his wife Nastya Ovechkina welcomed their first kid.

Although Ovechkin's son Sergei is only a couple months old, the public has not seen much of him. Both Nastya and Alex posted pictures on Instagram of Sergei's foot when he was born, but neither had posted anything of him since.

In honor of Sergei's two month birthday, Nastya posted a picture of the three of them, with Alex holding Sergei in his hands. 

While it is hard to see much of Sergei, this is one of the first pictures of the couple with their newborn present. 

What a happy family!