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Why Caps expect another tight one in New York

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Why Caps expect another tight one in New York

Through their first 10 games of the regular season the Capitals are 8-2-0 and own the second-largest goal differential in the league at a plus-11.

Yet as they prepare to face the New York Rangers Tuesday night in Madison Square Garden, they are coming off two straight one-goal games and another that ended with an empty-netter.

“If you look at the playoffs last year, there were a lot of one-goal games,” Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom told reporters in Sunrise, Fla., Monday before the team boarded a flight for New York. “I think it’s good to get those games. Winning 7-4 is not going to happen every night.”

Last spring, 11 of the Capitals’ 14 playoff games were decided by one goal, including all seven of the Caps’ conference semifinal games against the Rangers, a series New York won in overtime in Game 7.

The Caps won six of those 11 games during last year’s playoffs and were an impressive 21-13-10 in one-goal games last season.

“We had to have played in the most one-goal games in the league last year,” said goaltender Braden Holtby, who is scheduled to make his ninth start of the season Tuesday night. “It seemed like every game was a one-goal game and that does a lot for your confidence.

MORE CAPITALS: FORMER CAPITAL SCORES IN FIRST GAME WITH PITTSBURGH

“It makes you comfortable in tough situations. It’s one of those things we want to get stronger at because we want to be the best in the league at that. We’re getting there. We have guys committed to doing that.”

This season, after each of their first five games were decided by two or more goals, the Caps have been involved in three-one-goal games in their last five and have won all three.

One reason for Saturday night’s 2-1 overtime win against the Panthers was coach Barry Trotz’s willingness to shake up all four of his forward lines, putting a “worker” on each line. The switch led to Jay Beagle’s game-tying goal on a line with Alex Ovechkin and Justin Williams.

“It was pretty simple,” Trotz said of his line juggling. “I didn’t like the work ethic on some of our lines We were too much to the perimeter.”

Trotz said he talked about playing a better interior game after each of the first to periods before doing something about it.

“I said, ‘OK, I’m done talking and I basically put one guy on each line I knew would get pucks and go to the net to pull some of our skill guys into the battle a little better.”

On Monday, Trotz tinkered with his bottom two lines, promoting Andre Burakovsky (2 goals, 3 assists, minus-2) to the third line with Beagle and Jason Chimera and dropping Tom Wilson (0 goals, 2 assists, even) to the fourth line with center Chandler Stephenson and left wing Brooks Laich.

“It’s a little bit of trying to help out the fourth line and try to help out Burakovsky,” Trotz said. “I moved them around as the game went along an I’ll probably do that again (in New York).”

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Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman loses bet, rocks Ovechkin jersey

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USA Today Sports

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman loses bet, rocks Ovechkin jersey

Nearly two weeks have passed since the Washington Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights to raise their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

With one team being a first-year expansion project that turned out beautifully and the other a franchise that had not appeared in a Stanley Cup Final since 1998, there was obviously a lot on the line.

Those away from the ice had 'a lot' on the line, too.

Prior to the start of the series, each city's mayor agreed on a bet that would force the losing team's member to wear an opposing jersey at the conclusion of the Cup.

Well, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman followed through on her end of the bargain.

Here is proof of her wearing the jersey of a man who led what was arguably the greatest post-championship celebration in sports history.

 

The Capitals announced Wednesday that the team's home opener and Stanley Cup banner unveiling will be played on October 3 against the Boston Bruins.

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Capitals don't get Penguins for home opener, but Penguins will host Capitals in theirs

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals don't get Penguins for home opener, but Penguins will host Capitals in theirs

The Capitals found out who their opponent will be for the home opener on Oct. 3 and it's not the Pittsburgh Penguins.

And you know what? That's OK. Winning the Stanley Cup was awesome and the banner raising will be an incredible scene regardless. 

Plus, the Penguins need that night off because they have to get ready for their own home opener on Oct. 4 against...the Caps?

Wait, what?

In 2016, the Capitals were in attendance as the Penguins raised their Stanley Cup banner. That had to sting considering Pittsburgh eliminated Washington in the playoffs.

It has not become a tradition to make rivals watch as teams raise banners and there's nothing that said the NHL had to schedule the Penguins for Washington's home opener. But it does seem odd that the NHL is going to make the defending Stanley Cup champions play a back-to-back right out of the gate with the second end coming against their archrivals in Pittsburgh.

Hey Caps, it's the NHL here. Congrats again. Vegas is a hell of a city, am I right? So, listen...we thought about it and decided you won't get to raise your banner against your rivals. Sorry about that. We tried and we couldn't get them for your first game. Good news though, we moved it all the way up to the second game, we just couldn't get it any sooner than that. You'll be playing them the second game of the season...the night after your home opener...in Pittsburgh...for their home opener. Anyway, good luck on the repeat.

Makes sense.

Look, if Washington can't have Pittsburgh for the home opener fine. It would have been nice, but it's really not a big deal. Raising the banner will be special regardless of who the opponent will be. But don't turn around and make the Caps play in the Penguins' home opener the very next day.

The schedule makers did the Caps no favors with this one.

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