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Laich's Game 7 advice: 'Let yourself be free'

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Laich's Game 7 advice: 'Let yourself be free'

This may seem hard to believe, but when the Capitals visit the New York Rangers Saturday night for the seventh and decisive game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals 7:30, NBC Sports Network, it will be the sixth Game 7 in the playoff careers of Alex Ovechkin, Brooks Laich, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Semin. For Caps veteran defenseman Roman Hamrlik, it will his ninth career Game 7.

By comparison, only two Rangers Ruslan Fedotenko and Mike Rupp, each with five have played in more than three Game 7s.

In their playoff history, the Capitals are 3-7 in Game 7s, including their 2-1 overtime victory in Boston on April 25.

With the exception of one game that I kind of want to forget about, in my experience the Game Sevens have been very, very tight, Laich said, apparently referring to the 6-2 home loss to the Penguins in the second round of the 2009 playoffs.

They start off sometimes a little tentative. People try to feel each other out, nobody wants to make that mistake early. But for us going in we dont change a thing.

We keep playing the same way. Look back to Game 5, we were six seconds away from winning. And we won Game 2 in there. So weve played well in that building. We just have to keep doing the same thing. And then the other thing is just enjoy it. You cant get froze up by the pressure or the intensity. You just have to let yourself be free and enjoy it and then after that whatever you are, if youre a skater, you have to skate, if youre a shooter you shoot. You just let your natural abilities take over and compete your tail off.

Here's a statistical look at how each player and each team has fared in career Game 7s:

Career Game 7 StatisticsWashington GP W-L G A Pts.
Karl Alzner 2 1-1 0 0 0
Keith Aucoin 1 1-0 0 0 0
Nicklas Backstrom 5 2-3 1 1 2
Jay Beagle 2 1-1 0 0 0
Troy Brouwer 2 1-1 0 0 0
John Carlson 2 1-1 0 1 1
Jason Chimera 2 1-1 0 1 1
John Erskine 3 1-2 0 0 0
Mike Green 5 2-3 0 1 1
Jeff Halpern 2 0-2 0 1 1
Roman Hamrlik 8 5-3 0 5 5
Matt Hendricks 1 1-0 1 0 1
Marcus Johansson 1 1-0 0 0 0
Mike Knuble 3 1-2 0 1 1
Brooks Laich 5 2-3 2 1 3
Alex Ovechkin 5 2-3 2 2 4
Jeff Schultz 2 1-1 0 0 0
Alexander Semin 5 2-3 1 1 2
Joel Ward 1 1-0 1 0 1
Dennis Wideman 4 1-3 0 1 1

Washington Goaltenders

GP Mins W-L GAA SO Sv
Braden Holtby 1 63 1-0 0.95 0 .969
Michal Neuvirth - - - - - -
Tomas Vokoun - - - - - -

Braden Holtby

Date Score Dec. Shots
42512 WSH 2 at BOS 1 (OT) Win 32

Washington Head Coach Dale Hunter (1-0)
Date Score Dec.
42512 WSH 2 at BOS 1 (OT) Win

NY Rangers GP W-L G A Pts.
Artem Anisimov 2 1-1 0 0 0
Stu Bickel 1 1-0 0 0 0
Ryan Callahan 2 1-1 0 1 1
Michael Del Zotto 1 1-0 0 0 0
Brandon Dubinsky 2 1-1 0 2 2
Steve Eminger 1 0-1 0 0 0
Ruslan Fedotenko 5 5-0 3 1 4
Marian Gaborik 3 3-0 1 0 1
Dan Girardi 2 1-1 1 0 1
Carl Hagelin 1 1-0 0 0 0
Chris Kreider 1 1-0 0 0 0
Ryan McDonagh 1 1-0 0 0 0
John Mitchell 1 1-0 0 0 0
Brandon Prust 1 1-0 0 1 1
Brad Richards 3 3-0 0 3 3
Mike Rupp 5 2-3 1 2 3
Marc Staal 2 1-1 1 0 1
Derek Stepan 1 1-0 0 1 1
Anton Stralman 1 1-0 0 0 0

NY Rangers Goaltenders

GP Mins W-L GAA SO Sv
Henrik Lundqvist 2 120 1-1 1.50 0 .941
Martin Biron 1 66 1-0 1.82 0 .951

Henrik Lundqvist

Date Score Dec. Shots
42612 OTT 1 at NYR 2 Win 27
42809 NYR 1 at WSH 2 Loss 24

Martin Biron

Date Score Dec. Shots
42208 PHI 3 at WSH 2 (OT) Win 41

NY Rangers Head Coach John Tortorella (3-1)
Date Score Dec.
42612 OTT 1 at NYR 2 Win
42809 NYR 1 at WSH 2 Loss
6704 CGY 1 at TB 2 Win
52204 PHI 1 at TB 2 Win

Washington Capitals Game 7 History (3-7)
42512, Eastern Conference QF vs. Boston (WSH 2 at BOS 1, OT)
42810, Eastern Conference QF vs. Montreal (MTL 2 at WSH 1)
51309, Eastern Conference SF vs. Pittsburgh (PIT 6 at WSH 2)
42809, Eastern Conference QF vs. NY Rangers (NYR 1 at WSH 2)
42208, Eastern Conference QF vs. Philadelphia (PHI 3 at WSH 2, OT)
51895, Eastern Conference QF vs. Pittsburgh (WSH 0 at PIT 3)
5192, Patrick Division SF vs. Pittsburgh (PIT 3 at WSH 1)
43088, Patrick Division Final vs. New Jersey (N.J. 3 at WSH 2)
41688, Patrick Division SF vs. Philadelphia (PHI 4 at WSH 5, OT)
41887, Patrick Division SF vs. NY Islanders (NYI 3 at WSH 2, 4OT)

New York Rangers Game 7 History (4-5)
42612, Eastern Conference QF vs. Ottawa (OTT 1 at NYR 2)
42809, Eastern Conference QF vs. Washington (NYR 1 at WSH 2)
61494, Stanley Cup Final vs. Vancouver (VAN 2 at NYR 3)
52794, Eastern Conference Final vs. New Jersey (N.J. 1 at NYR 2, 2OT)
5192, Patrick Division SF vs. New Jersey (N.J. 4 at NYR 8)
5574, Semifinal vs. Philadelphia (NYR 3 at PHI 4)
5271, Semifinal vs. Chicago (NYR 2 at CHI 4)
42350, Stanley Cup Final vs. Detroit (NYR 3 at DET 4, 2OT)
4239, Semifinal vs. Boston (NYR 1 at BOS 2, 3OT)

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Capitals Faceoff podcast: Barry Trotz has his work cut out for him

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Capitals Faceoff podcast: Barry Trotz has his work cut out for him

Barry Trotz is now the head coach of the New York Islanders, a team that missed the playoffs and just lost their franchise player. So how does next season look on Long Island?

In the long summer months, the Capitals Faceoff Podcast will take a look at some of the Caps' competition next season. In this episode, it's the New York Islanders. Brian Compton of NHL.com joins Rob Carlin and Tarik El-Bashir to talk about what Trotz brings to Long Island and what's left to work with.

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

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Monumental announces major improvements for in-game experience at Capitals and Wizards games

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Monumental announces major improvements for in-game experience at Capitals and Wizards games

Monumental Sports & Entertainment announced an overhauled in-game entertainment experience for the 2018-19 Wizards and Capitals seasons on Wednesday. 

These changes include a new DJ stage, new permanent 3D on ice/on court projection system, along with new Wizards and Capitals entertainment squads, as Capital One Arena undergoes $40 million in renovations.

“We are committed to putting on the best show possible for every fan who comes to a game at Capital One Arena,” said MSE President of Business Operations Jim Van Stone.  “So, as we upgrade the facilities at the Arena this summer, we are also upgrading all of our in-game entertainment to keep the experience fresh and on the cutting edge.”

“We’re excited about these new changes to our game entertainment experience,” said Hunter Lochmann, MSE Senior Vice President of Marketing.  “We work hard to create the best, most engaging entertainment experience in professional sports and we hope fans love this new, revamped energy.”

 

Some of the other improvement announced were:

  • Digital signage experience throughout the fully-renovated concourses that will pull fans into an exclusively all-Wizards or all-Capitals team experience each night highlighting player and team imagery on each concourse
  • Sponsored quadrants in the Arena where fans will experience concourse takeovers and can expect special offers and giveaways from sponsors
  • Olympia ice resurfacer bus: groups of fans will be able to take pre-game and intermission rides
  • Award-winning, chef-inspired dining experience featuring options from premiere chefs David Chang, Cat Cora and Alex McCoy
  • A transformed and modernized PwC Club offering some of the best sightlines in the Arena and new 100-level lounge, both featuring top-of-the-line comfort seating and exclusive food and beverage options so fans can gather in style during the games 
  • A new in-bowl broadcasting platform for NBC Sports Washington

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