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Karl Alzner a game-time decision for Game 3, what his absence may mean for the lineup

Karl Alzner a game-time decision for Game 3, what his absence may mean for the lineup

TORONTO—Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner is a game-time decision for Game 3 on Monday night, Coach Barry Trotz said.

Alzner did not join his teammates for the morning skate at Air Canada Centre. Instead, Nate Schmidt skated in his spot alongside John Carlson.

If Alzner is not able to suit up, it would seem likely that Schmidt and Carlson would play together in the game since it would allow Trotz to keep together the other two pairs.

RELATED: Maple Leafs get key defenseman back for Game 3

It’s not clear what is ailing Alzner, who has not missed a game in seven seasons. All Trotz would say was that the team's training staff believed he could benefit from a “maintenance day” and thus was held out of the morning skate.

Trotz said a decision on Alzner's status will be made later in the day.

“He will be a game time decision for us,” Trotz said.

If Schmidt does draw into the lineup, Trotz said he has full confidence in him. Schmidt appeared in 60 games this season, including the final four contests.

Schmidt's last goal? Here in Toronto on April 4.  

“Nate has played really well,” Trotz said. “He’s a really good player. We’re real fortunate to have a guy that’s played in our top-6 all year that got bumped down to seventh [by the acquisition of Kevin Shattenkirk]. So we’ve got a lot of confidence in Nate. The last couple of years he’s really developed.”

Trotz also noted that Schmidt could give the Caps’ team speed a boost against a young, quick Leafs’ group.

“He’s an exceptional skater; it’s real strength to his game,” Trotz said. “He’ll use his assets. And his biggest asset is he’s an exceptional skater.”

Schmidt said he’ll be ready if his number get called—even if the decision isn’t made until pregame warmups.

“You just got to be ready if it happens,” he said. “It’s just about preparing like a normal game. Make sure you’re napping and prepare the same way. If you play, you play. If you don’t, you get your workout in.”

Based on the skate, it does not appear that Trotz will make changes to his forward lines. On Sunday, he acknowledged that he was mulling tweaks. But based on line rushes, it looks like he’ll stick with the same combos he’s deployed since late December.


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Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

NBC Sports Washington/USATSI

Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

After lifting the Stanley Cup just over two months ago, something else very exciting has happened in Alex Ovechkin's life.

Saturday morning, Nastya and Alex Ovechkin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei, after Ovechkin's late brother. 

Ovi spent this week practicing at the Florida Panthers' facilities with other NHL players living in the surrounding area.

After the Cup's visit to Moscow, Nastya and Alex settled down at their apartment in Miami, staying put and preparing for the birth. 

The couple were married two years ago but didn't hold an official ceremony until July of last year. The celebration was as lavish as you'd expect.

She revealed her pregnancy shortly after the Cup victory, and has kept us up to date on life this summer via Instagram. A few weeks ago, the Ovechkins graced HELLO! Russia magazine, showing off Nastya's baby bump among their glamour shots.

💛 @aleksandrovechkinofficial #hello #hellorussia @hello__ru

A post shared by Nastasiya Ovechkina (@nastyashubskaya) on

Congratulations to Ovi and Nastya, and all our best wishes for health and happiness!


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Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan


Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

Say it ain't so.

Mitchell Gibson is the first goalie the Capitals have drafted since Ilya Samsonov in 2015, but they may be thinking twice about their selection after a recent shocking interview.

Gibson spoke with a local Philadelphia CBS station and revealed that both he and his family...are Flyers fans.

Insert dramatic music.

"I think my family will always be Flyers fans in their hearts and I guess I will be a little bit," Gibson admitted, hopefully with guilt in his voice.

Gibson was selected by the Caps in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, but clearly the scouts did not do their homework. It's as if Gibson grew up a hockey fan in a place like Phoenixville, Pa. (about an hour outside of Philadelphia) without anticipating the future that he may one day be drafted by a rival team like Washington.

Shame, shame.

The young netminder tried to make up for his horrifying admission later in the interview.

"The Capitals are definitely treating me well right now so I would like to be their goalie," he said.

A likely story.

Gibson is only 19 and set to begin his first collegiate season at Harvard in 2018 so at least there is still time for Gibson to overcome his shameful past. And hey, it could always be worse. At least he's not a Penguins fan.