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Ovechkin wants to break Fedorov's record tonight

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Ovechkin wants to break Fedorov's record tonight

The other day, Russia’s all-time leading goal scorer and incoming Hockey Hall of Famer Sergei Fedorov made a long-distance request to Alex Ovechkin, asking him to wait until Tuesday night when the Caps are in Detroit, to pass his record.

Ovechkin, who is two goals away from overtaking Fedorov (483 NHL goals) as the leading Russian goal scorer in NHL history, responded on Saturday morning.

“My plan is to get three tonight, so we’ll see,” said Ovechkin, who has not recorded a hat trick since Dec. 10, 2013 when he scored four goals in a comeback win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“It’s going to be a huge honor, obviously, to pass all the great names in Russian hockey and be No. 1. It’s huge.”

What amazes Capitals coach Barry Trotz is how quickly Ovechkin has climbed Russia’s mountain of goal scorers, one which includes Alexander Mogilny (473), Pavel Bure (437), Alexei Kovalev (430) and Ilya Kovalchuk (417).

It took Fedorov 1,248 games to score 483 NHL goals. Ovechkin has scored 482 goals in 771 games.

“Any time you pass a great player that’s got to be pretty fulfilling,” Trotz said, “but I was looking at the number of games he’s doing it at and it’s crazy that he’s hundreds of games ahead of one of the greatest players who is going into the Hall of Fame (on Monday).

“That’s pretty outstanding and he’s doing it in an era where it’s harder to score. When I see those numbers that’s what blows me away. Knowing how great Sergei was as a player, that’s pretty outstanding.”

Ironically, Ovechkin is approaching Fedorov’s record without the benefit of a power play goal this season. Entering tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Verizon Center (7 p.m., CSN) all seven of his goals this season have come at even strength. After leading the NHL in power-play goals in each of his last three seasons, Ovechkin has failed to score on 15 power-play shots and he has just one power-play assist.

The Caps’ eight power play goals have come from John Carlson (2), T.J. Oshie (2), Nicklas Backstrom (1), Evgeny Kuznetsov (1), Marcus Johansson (1) and Matt Niskanen (1).

“Obviously, we have so many options out there and we have to find the one that’s going to work,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s me or Carly or Osh or Niskanen or whatever. We just have to find the right one and put it in.”

Trotz said the attention Ovechkin draws on the power play is a weapon in itself.

“They always have someone standing next to him and everyone else benefits from him,” Trotz said. “Unselfishly, he’ll stand further away from the net to draw someone away from someone else.

“He doesn’t get frustrated with it, he just gets frustrated if he gets a good look and misses the net or has a goalie down and he doesn’t execute. He’ll take all the shadowing so other people score. Just watch when we score. He’s just as excited if Oshie or Backy scores than if he scores. He doesn’t really care.” 

MORE CAPITALS: Capitals prepare to face lowly Maple Leafs

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5 reasons the Capitals beat the Rangers in overtime

5 reasons the Capitals beat the Rangers in overtime

The Caps gave up a 2-1 and 3-2 lead, but ultimately came away victorious on Wednesday in a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers thanks to an overtime goal from Matt Niskanen.

Here are five reasons why the Caps won.

1. Djoos saves a goal

With the Caps already trailing 1-0 in the first period, they were about an inch away from going down by two. Luckily, Christian Djoos was there to make the save.

Yes, Djoos, not Braden Holtby.

A diving Jesper Fast got to a loose puck before any of the Caps defenders and beat Holtby with the shot. Djoos, however, was there to sweep the puck off the goal line and out, saving a goal.

That play turned out to be a two-goal swing as less than two minutes later, the Caps scored to tie the game at 1.

2. Carlson off the faceoff

The Caps emphasized the importance of the faceoff this week and worked on it specifically in practice on Tuesday. That practice turned out to be very prescient as Washington’s first goal of the night came right off the faceoff.

Nicklas Backstrom beat Ryan Spooner on the draw cleanly in the offensive zone, feeding the puck back to John Carlson. With the players all bunched up off the draw, Carlson benefitted from Brady Skjei standing right in front of Henrik Lundqvist. Carlson teed up the slap shot and beat Lundqvist who never saw the puck.

Of the five combined goals scored in the game, three were directly set up off a faceoff.

3. Hand-eye coordination

With the Caps on the power play, Fast tipped a pass meant for Carlson that looked like it was headed out of the offensive zone. Carlson reacted to the puck then stretched the stick and somehow managed to control the bouncing puck and keep it in the zone.

Fast charged Carlson at the blue line so he chipped the puck to Ovechkin in the office. Ovechkin managed to hit the puck just as it hit the ice and somehow beat Lundqvist with the shot.

Ovechkin was by the boards at the very edge of the circle. It was an amazing shot and it was set up by the great hustle play from Carlson. Both showed tremendous hand-eye coordination to control that puck.

4. Braden Holtby

Lundqvist entered this game with a 1.99 GAA and .939 save percentage, but he was outplayed by his counterpart from Washington.

Holtby had himself a night. He was particularly strong down low with the pads as he made a number of key pad saves throughout the game, particularly in the second period when he recorded 17 saves including a shorthanded breakaway save on Kevin Hayes as time expired.

Of the three goals Holtby allowed, the first he made a great save on Chris Kreider who looked like he had an empty net to shoot at. Mike Zibanejad would score on the rebound. The second goal came as a shot deflected off Devante Smith-Pelly and went right to Jimmy Vesey for an easy tap-in. The third was a deflection goal from Kreider to redirect a shot that was going wide.

Can’t blame Holtby for those.

5. Working from the office

The Caps had three power play opportunities on the night. They scored on two of them and those two goals looked pretty darn similar.

There was the one described above in which a hustle play by Carlson at the point kept the puck alive and he fed to Ovechkin in the office. The second goal came with Carlson on the point feeding Ovechkin in the office.

Those two goals give Ovechkin 232 power play goals for his career, tying him with Dino Ciccarelli for ninth on the NHL’s all-time list.

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Capitals vs. Rangers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Capitals vs. Rangers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Capitals (2-2-1) were dealt a herky-jerky schedule for the first month of the NHL season, already having logged two back-to-backs and two extended breaks.  But Washington finally gets a semblance of normalcy when they host the New York Rangers (2-4) on Wednesday night in the first of two home games before heading out west to end the month.

The Caps enter the Wednesday Night Hockey tilt with their longtime regional foes having dropped a thrilling weekend showdown against the Toronto Maple Leafs and their high-powered attack. The Rangers have long been a thorn in the side of the Capitals and fans alike. But the team that will hit the ice at Capital One Arena on Oct. 17 will be one that Capitals need to dispatch of with ease.

The team's first foray into defending a championship has been a wild ride with ceremonies, openers, rematches and a lot of time off. After dropping the first three games of the season, New York has won two of its last three,  with both games needing extra time.

Here is everything you need to know about Capitals vs. Rangers which takes place at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.

CAPITALS vs. RANGERs HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers, Game 6 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: Wednesday, October 17 at 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Capitals vs. Rangers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network. (NBC Sports Washington Channel Finder)

Live Stream: Watch Capitals vs. Rangers on  the NBC Sports Washington live stream page and  the NBC Sports MyTeams App.

Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM

CAPITALS vs. RANGERS TV SCHEDULE

6:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live
6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live
7:00 PM: Capitals vs. Rangers on NBC Sports Network
9:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live
10:00 PM: Caps Overtime Live

CAPITALS vs. RANGERS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Braden Holtby, G. Capitals: Holtby has started four of the Capitals' first five games. He's allowed just two goals in the Capitals' two wins, but has given up 11 in the two losses. That being said, the Rangers do not have the caliber of fire-power possessed by the Penguins and Maple Leafs. Expect a big game from "The HoltBeast."

Mats Zuccarello, Rangers: The Rangers savvy veteran leads the team in assists (5) and points (50 through the first six games. While he's not the most dangerous threat on offense, he's the table setter and crafty elder statesman. 

CAPITALS vs. RANGERS SERIES HISTORY

Number of all-time Meetings: 273

All-Time Series Record: Capitals lead series 131–117–18–7

Regular Season Record: Capitals lead series 103–90–18–7

Playoff Record: Capitals lead series 28-27

Last Meeting: Capitals beat Rangers 3-2 OT (3/28/2018)

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