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Strong second period gives Caps the 5-2 win in Philly

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Strong second period gives Caps the 5-2 win in Philly

PHILADELPHIA -- Post-game analysis of the Capitals’ 5-2 victory over the Flyers Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center:

How it happened: Hours after putting Jason Chimera on the power play and asking him to drive the net, Barry Trotz saw his 36-year-old veteran left wing score two power-play goals by going hard to the net. T.J. Oshie also scored off an incredible behind-the-net feed from Evgeny Kuznetsov and Justin Williams added his third goal of the season in the Caps’ win. Nicklas Backstrom finished off the Flyers with a third-period snap shot off a nice feed from Marcus Johansson.  

What it means: The Caps improved to 11-4-0 and are now a perfect 4-0 after losses this season. They now have 22 points, four behind the Metro Division-leading Rangers and two ahead of the third-place Penguins. The Flyers have now lost eight of their last nine.

Ovi can’t catch a break: For the second time in three games Alex Ovechkin prematurely celebrated becoming the top Russian-born goal scorer in NHL history.

With 38 seconds remaining in the second period and the Caps on the power play, Ovechkin blasted a John Carlson pass past the glove side of Flyers goaltender Steve Mason. Ovechkin let out a primal scream and again took off his glove to raise his index finger in the air, repeating his premature celebration on Saturday night at Verizon Center when his historic goal was overturned because of a goalie interference call on Justin Williams.

This time, it was an offsides infraction by Williams that negated Ovechkin’s 484th goal. Replays accurately showed that Williams crossed the blue line ahead of the puck-carrying Jason Chimera and once again Ovechkin’s celebration was in vain.

Chim Dawg: Chimera also picked up an assist during his three-point night, but it might have been his restraint that most impressed Trotz. Early in the game, with the Flyers leading 1-0 on their first shot of the game, Chimera was driven into the boards by Flyers forward Ryan White, but did not retaliate.

Whack-a-White: Michael Latta got into his second fight of the season when he and White got into a second-period scrap. White’s head somehow got caught in his sweater and Latta allowed him time to pop his head back out so he could punch it some more.  

What’s next: Ovechkin’s next chance to move ahead of Sergei Fedorov will come Friday night at Verizon Center the Calgary Flames pay a visit. Catch all the action on CSN.

RELATED: Prospect Report: Galiev proving he's NHL ready

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TJ Oshie celebrates Tom Wilson's return with incredible 'Free Willy 3' poster

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USA Today Sports

TJ Oshie celebrates Tom Wilson's return with incredible 'Free Willy 3' poster

After 16 games and an up and down start to 2018, the Washington Capitals can finally welcome their stud right winger Tom Wilson back to the lineup. 

On Tuesday, Wilson's 20-game suspension was reduced to 14 thanks to a neutral arbitrator. 

TJ Oshie apparently couldn't contain his excitement as he took to Twitter sharing a hilarious poster to celebrate. 

This wasn't the first time Wilson's fellow right winger posted something comical regarding Wilson's suspension. In fact, Tuesday's celebratory tweet completed the trilogy. 

Remember the initial Free Willy poster that kicked things off in October 2017? 

Or what about the sequel from last May? 

The Capitals travel to Minnesota for an 8 p.m. puck drop Tuesday night and although his playing status is unconfirmed, all signs point towards it being likely the 24-year-old will be in the lineup. 

 

MORE TOM WILSON NEWS:

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Tom Wilson’s suspension reduced to 14 games by neutral arbitrator

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USA TODAY Sports

Tom Wilson’s suspension reduced to 14 games by neutral arbitrator

Tom Wilson’s 20-game suspension has been reduced to 14 games by a neutral arbitrator meaning he is eligible to return as early as Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild. Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the arbitrator’s decision.

Wilson was suspended 20 games for a hit to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in the preseason. The suspension was announced on Oct. 3 and upheld by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Wilson’s first appeal.

Though the second appeal was technically successful in getting the suspension reduced, the lengthy process ended up costing him an extra two games as the Caps are already 16 games into the season. The good news for him is that he will recoup $378,048.78 of the over $1.2 million he was originally due to forfeit as a result of the suspension.

This marks the second suspension that Shyam Das, the neutral arbitrator, has reduced this season. Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson was suspended 27 games for domestic assault, but had his suspension reduced to 18 games after taking his appeal to the neutral arbitrator.

Tuesday’s ruling may mark the end of Wilson’s suspension and of the appeals process, but it hardly marks the end of the entire saga and controversy surrounding Wilson and his style of play. A 14-game suspension is still significant and should not be seen as vindication that Wilson did nothing wrong in the eyes of the league.

If there is another suspension, it will be longer and neither Wilson nor the Caps can afford for that to happen. Wilson still must change the way he plays or everyone is going to end up going through this entire process again and nobody wants that.

The Caps will have a morning skate at 12:30 p.m. ET which should provide more clarity on whether Todd Reirden intends to play Wilson immediately and where he could slot into the lineup.

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