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Shattenkirk is looking to fit in with the Caps...and get a little shut-eye

Shattenkirk is looking to fit in with the Caps...and get a little shut-eye

NEW YORK—Kevin Shattenkirk arrived at Madison Square Garden around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, running on adrenaline alone.

“I didn’t get much sleep,” the Capitals' newest player said before debuting against the Rangers. “I was thinking about everything under the sun. Even today during my pregame nap, it was more tossing and turning.”

Indeed, the 28-year-old defenseman has been through a lot over the last 24 hours.

He found out late Monday night—via social media, no less—that he had been traded from the Blues to the Capitals. He spent Tuesday morning making his way from St. Louis to the Capitals’ hotel in Manhattan. Then, after some quick hellos and a crash course on Washington's systems, he found himself in the lineup Tuesday night.

Shattenkirk, a pending unrestricted free agent, knew that he was likely to be moved prior to Wednesday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. So the fact that he got traded wasn’t a huge surprise.

RELATED: Caps earn first win over Rangers with second period surge

He just had no idea it would be to the Caps. Or that he would find out on Twitter.

“Washington kind of really came out of nowhere in my mind,” Shattenkirk said. “It was a team I didn’t really have in my head. Obviously when the news was announced, it was very exciting for me because this is a great team.”

He added: “These days, just like everything else, I found out on social media. That’s when everything started to break. After that, you start to get some text messages. Then finally I spoke to [Blues General Manager] Doug Armstrong and then [Capitals General Manager] Brian MacLellan after that.”

Although the Caps are looking at Shattenkirk as the final piece to a championship puzzle, he says it's important to guard against trying to do more than is asked of him.

“In my mind, I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself,” he said. “They didn’t bring me in to save anything. They are the best team in the NHL right now. I just have to make sure I’m doing what I do best.”

Which, for Shattenkirk, means playing solidly in the defensive end while also producing on the power play. Entering Tuesday’s game, Shattenkirk was tied for third among defensemen in power play points (20).

He acknowledged that it’s going to take at least a couple of games to get comfortable with the Caps’ schemes and personnel. But it became obvious early in Tuesday's game that Coach Barry Trotz is not going to ease him into the flow. In fact, Shattenkirk was tasked with manning the point on the first unit power play and he looked quite comfortable feeding the puck to Alex Ovechkin in the circle.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said before the game, asked about playing alongside No. 8. “I’ve had a good couple of weapons in St. Louis for a long time. But [Ovechkin] is of the greatest goal scorers of all time. For me, I just need to learn how to make that pass and I think I’ll be alright.”

Overall, Shattenkirk enjoyed a solid first game in a Capitals sweater. He moved the puck quickly and decisively. He nearly set up Marcus Johansson with a cross ice pass early in the contest. His three shots on goal in the first period were more than anyone else on the ice. But the challenge of a joining a new team at the deadline was also apparent as a miscommunication with partner Nate Schmidt led to the Rangers’ first period goal.

Indeed, it’s going to take a little time for Shattenkirk to get fully integrated. 

“There’s a lot of new terminology, new systems,” Shattenkirk added. “I don’t think they’re expecting me to get it all done in 12 hours, 24 hours. It’s going to be a process. It’s going to be a couple of games for me to figure this out. Already I can see how great these guys are in the locker room and helpful they are. I’m looking forward to being able to bounce some ideas off guys and make sure I get this down as soon as possible.”

That, and getting a few hours of shut-eye.

“Hopefully when we get back to Washington I’ll be able to get some solid hours in,” he cracked.

MORE CAPITALS: Backstrom solidifies Trotz's 700th career win with PP goal

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Capitals hosting Rock The Rink skate and watch parties around DMV

Capitals hosting Rock The Rink skate and watch parties around DMV

The Capitals may not be participating in Stadium Series this year, but the team is embracing outdoor hockey around Washington for spirited game day fun.

The Caps are hosting Rock The Rink skates at The Wharf, Penatgon Row, Rockville Town Square and The Avenue at White Marsh on select game days from January to March 2020. Fans attending these events can wear Capitals jerseys or gear to get either $5 off admission or free skate rentals.

The Wharf

Jan. 18 at 1 p.m., Jan. 31 at 6 p.m., and Feb 17. at 1 p.m.

Transit Pier will boast a Capitals-paneled ice rink with an ice resurfacer, trivia contests, giveaways, along with a DJ. The Capitals Campire will also boast Adirondack chairs around a fire to roast marshmallows for smores in front of a 14-foot jumbotron screen to watch the Capitals games. 

Pentagon Row

Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. and March 9 at 6 p.m.

These skates will feature Slapshot, giveaways, a DJ and Capitals-centic specials at local restaurants. The Caps games will also be on at surrounding bars. 

The Avenue at White March

Feb. 7 at 6 p.m.

This event will feature Slapshot, giveaways, a DJ and Capitals-centic specials at local restaurants.

Rockville Town Square

Jan. 31 at 5:30 p.m. and March 5 at 6 p.m.

In addition to the above fun, Rockville native and Capitals hockey ambassador Haley Skarupa will be there on Jan. 31. You can watch the Capitals game at local bars as well. 

Fans attending these events or using local outdoor rinks this season are encouraged to post about it on social media by tagging @capitals and using the hashtag #RockTheRink to enter themselves for a chance to win prizes.

Caps slept through the first 40 minutes, they did not give Holtby much help though he was bad in his own right and Vrana sure did show something with the game-winning goal.

As for no penalties...not so much.


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Caps pull off inexplicable comeback win with five-goal third period

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Caps pull off inexplicable comeback win with five-goal third period

Down 4-1, the Capitals scored five goals in the third period for the incredible 6-4 comeback win over the New York Islanders on Saturday. Alex Ovechkin scored a hat trick pulling him in a tie with Steve Yzerman for ninth all-time in goals.

Here is how the Caps won.


Ovechkin was hot coming in with five goals in his past two games. He scored midway through the first period, getting a great pass in stride from Nicklas Backstrom to launch him behind the defense. Just as the defense closed in he fired a wrister past Semyon Varlamov to make it 1-0.

There is...pretty much nothing positive to say after that until the third period. There was a great 5-on-3 penalty kill, but it was essentially negated as they allowed a goal soon after. The Islanders built a 4-1 lead through 40 minutes and it looked all but over.

But after Carl Hagelin made it 4-2, Ovechkin pulled the Caps to within one, pulling the vintage back-to-front Ovechkin curl-and-drag before passing to the front where the puck deflected off the boot of Ryan Pulock and in.

After Jakub Vrana made it 5-4, Ovechkin added the empty-netter for the knockout punch.

With three goals, Ovechkin now has 34 on the season. He passed Mario Lemieux and tied Steve Yzerman for ninth all-time in goals. Incredibly, this is the first time in his career Ovechkin has three straight multi-goal games.


Just what exactly lit the fire under the Caps butts for that third period will probably be a talking point after the game. Was it Devon Toews doing the bird celebration after he scored to make it 4-1? Was it pulling Braden Holtby and starting Ilya Samsonov in the third period? Was it something Todd Reirden or one of the players said?

Whatever it was, it was a different Caps team that took the ice for the third period.

Hagelin's turnaround

As great as Ovechkin's performance was -- and it was epic -- it might not happen without the Carl Hagelin's early third-period tally.

The comeback was sparked by Hagelin's goal that came less than three minutes into the final frame. A great pass by Richard Panik set Hagelin up on the doorstep and he hit it home.

That goal made it 4-2 and a two-goal deficit seems a lot less daunting than a three-goal one.

Shaky Varlamov

Once Ovechkin made it 4-3, you could smell the blood in the water. Washington had gotten to Varlamov and the flood gates were open.

Dmitry Orlov took the puck up to the top of the faceoff circle and fired a slap shot that Wilson managed to get a stick to and deflected it through Varlamov to tie the game.

About three minutes later, Vrana intercepted a pass and fired a quick shot to beat Varlamov far-side for the 5-4 lead.

Varlamov faced 10 shots in the third period and allowed four goals. The fifth came on an empty net.