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Capitals Insider: November 30, 2008 - December 6, 2008

Caps 2, Leafs 1

The Caps finally got another win on the road--and they've got a patchwork blueline to thank for it. Defense was Washington's strength tonight in Toronto, where all six D-men played well and Karl Alzner and Milan Jurcina provided the scoring in 2-1 Caps' win at Air Canada Centre. Alzner scored...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 6, 2008; 11:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
 
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Fehr Day-To-Day (Updated)

Eric Fehr appeared to suffer a left shoulder injury when he collided with the glass while throwing a check in the second period. The right wing appeared to be in serious pain and has not returned to the game. Update:According to a team, Fehr is day-to-day with a shoulder injury....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 6, 2008; 8:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
 
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Sloan Not Warming Up

Defenseman Tyler Sloan (bruised foot) doesn't appear to be on the ice for pregame warm-ups, so that likely means Sean Collins will make his NHL debut tonight in Toronto. Collins was called up from Hershey earlier today. Tonight's lineup: Forwards Ovechkin-Backstrom-Nylander Fleischmann-Aucoin-Kozlov Laich-Gordon-Fehr Brashear-Steckel-Bradley Defense Alzner-Jurcina Morrisonn-Collins Lepisto-Helmer Goal Johnson...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 6, 2008; 6:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
 
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Sloan Questionable Tonight

Defenseman Tyler Sloan (bruised foot) is questionable for tonight's game at Air Canada Centre. If he can't play, Sean Collins, who was recalled this morning from Hershey, will make his NHL debut. Should Collins suit up, he would be the 11th defenseman to play in Washington this season. Yep. It's...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 6, 2008; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
 
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Caps Recall Collins (Updated)

It appears there is yet another injury on the blue line because this morning the Caps recalled Sean Collins from Hershey. I'm not certain which Washington defenseman is hurt, but I'm willing to bet that it's Tyler Sloan, who took a shot off the foot/ankle in Thursday's 5-2 win over...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 6, 2008; 9:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
 
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Injury Update

Although practice was cancelled today, Mike Green (bruised shoulder), Tom Poti (groin), Sergei Fedorov (sprained ankle) and Alexander Semin (upper torso strain) all went out on the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. All four appear to be making progress. But it also doesn't look like any of them will be...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 5, 2008; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (83)
 
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Poll: Avery's Suspension

Sean Avery has been suspended six games by the NHL for his comments prior to the Calgary game on Tuesday. He's also agreed to seek an anger management evaluation, the league announced moments ago. So here's my question for you: poll by twiigs.com...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 5, 2008; 10:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (101)
 
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Morning Reading List

My what some boisterous motivation (and perhaps a ugly loss) can do for a team. The Caps have needed secondary scoring, they got secondary scoring. They needed solid goaltending, they got solid goaltending. They were 3 of 5 with the man advantage to tie their season high of three power...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 5, 2008; 7:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
 
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Caps 5, Islanders 2

With the exception of a brief lull in the second period, the Capitals had an all around solid performance tonight at Verizon Center, where Donald Brashear scored his first goal of the season in the third period to help clinch a 5-2 victory. "It just bounced there and I went...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 4, 2008; 11:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Ovechkin Returns (Updated)

After appearing to suffer an arm or shoulder injury late in the first period, Alex Ovechkin has returned. He took a regular shift early in the second period, thought he still doesn't look 100-percent. At one point he pulled up after making contact with an Islander and even took his...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 4, 2008; 7:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (97)
 
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Ovechkin Hurt?

The Caps are up 2-0 on the Isles, but Alex Ovechkin appears to have suffered an injury. With about six minutes remaining in the first period, Ovechkin was dealt a glancing blow in the neutral zone from Tim Jackman. Ovechkin finished his shift, but he was favoring his left arm/shoulder...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 4, 2008; 7:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Tonight's Lineup

Before I get to to tonight's lineup, I asked Bruce Boudreau a few minutes ago if he coached Sean Avery in Manchester. His response was vintage Boudreau. "It's in the book," Boudreau quipped, referring to his forthcoming biography. He paused, then cracked with a smile, "I had him for a...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 4, 2008; 5:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Morning Skate Update

With his injury-plagued team on a two-game losing streak, and secondary scoring suddenly hard to come by, Coach Bruce Boudreau shook things up this morning. Again. The Caps recalled Keith Aucoin, the AHL's leading scorer, and Boudreau has put the smallish center on the second line for tonight's game against...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 4, 2008; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
 
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Aucoin Recalled

Center Keith Aucoin, the AHL's leading scorer, has been recalled and Graham Mink has been sent down. Looks like the top line will be Alex Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom-Michael Nylander. Interesting, huh? I'll have more after Bruce Boudreau talks....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 4, 2008; 10:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Morning Reading List

Tom Boswell may not be known for the amount of time he spends near hockey rinks, but after the Capitals displayed one of their most lackluster performances of the season Tuesday night he was impressed by the standard the team held itself to. *Although Coach Bruce Boudreau was optimistic earlier...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 4, 2008; 8:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Caps' TV Ratings Make Big Gains

According to Nielsen, the Caps' local TV ratings are up 140-percent year over last, which represents the biggest jump in the NHL. Chicago (71 percent) and San Jose (50 percent) are next. Check out the whole list here, plus a ranking of the league's most watched hockey teams....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 3, 2008; 2:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
 
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Wednesday Morning Update

Coach Bruce Boudreau just met with the media here at KCI and the news regarding the injured players isn't what most of you are hoping to hear: the Caps likely will be without seven regulars for a fifth consecutive game tomorrow against the Islanders. Here's a more detailed rundown: *Alex...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 3, 2008; 12:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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New Lines For Caps

After last night's 5-3 loss to Florida, the Caps' second in a row, Coach Bruce Boudreau has rearranged his injury-depleted lineup. It's probably too soon to read much into the new combos since Alex Ovechkin isn't practicing, but they're worth getting on the record. Here's how they are lined up:...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 3, 2008; 11:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
 
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Morning Reading List

The Capitals fell in regulation at Verizon Center last night for the first time since March 9, in a 5-3 loss that Coach Bruce Boudreau said his team played with the least amount of energy he's seen all season. *Here are takes on the game from the Panthers' point of...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 3, 2008; 8:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
 
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Caps Fall to Panthers 5-3

Well maybe it was a good thing that this game wasn't on TV. It was far from pretty with three of the eight goals (the Caps' first and the Panthers' second and third tallies) ricocheting off someone or something. *Tonight's game is the Capitals' first loss in regulation at Verizon...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 2, 2008; 10:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
 
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Third Period

1-4 Florida, Dvorak from Campbell and Peltonen. *Unfortunately I didn't have a good look at that goal and our replay was from behind the net. But Radek Dvorak had a wide open shot to Jose Theodore's right and Theodore appeared to be falling down in the opposite direction as Dvorak's...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 2, 2008; 8:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
 
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Second Period

1-1, Panthers goal Peltonen from Dvorak at 6:13. *Ville Peltonen skated down the right side of the ice put on the brakes near the center of the faceoff circle and rookie defenseman Karl Alzner skated right past him. As Alzner tried to turn around and stretch toward him, Peltonen had...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 2, 2008; 8:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
 
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Starting Lines, First Period

First Period updates: *On the power play for the first time tonight, the Caps missed on two good chances. The first when Michael Nylander was unable to gain full control of the puck or get a shot off as he stood alone to the left side of the crease. The...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 2, 2008; 7:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
 
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Avery Suspended Indefinitely

While we wait for the game to start, there's some interesting news out of Calgary. The NHL suspended Stars forward Sean Avery indefinitely for comments he made during the morning skate at the Saddledome. Read TSN's story here. And check out the video here....

By Katie Carrera  |  December 2, 2008; 6:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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Tonight's Lineup

There aren't any lineup changes to report from this morning. Jose Theodore will start and face Craig Anderson, who is 0-3 against the Capitals all time. Don't forget to check back at 7 p.m. I'll be live blogging throughout the game. And here are tonight's lines: Forwards Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov Fleischmann-Nylander-Bradley Laich-Steckel-Fehr...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 2, 2008; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Morning Skate Update

Coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed moments ago what we already suspected: none of the injured players will be back tonight. There is, however, hope that one will return for Thursday's game against the Islanders. "You can see guys are getting closer," Boudreau said. "I'm hoping one can come back for Thursday's...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 2, 2008; 11:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (123)
 
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Mink Recalled (Updated)

The Caps have recalled right wing Graham Mink and he's on the ice for the morning skate. I don't see any other recalls, so I'm assuming that means that Boyd Gordon (back spasms) is good to go. Injured players Mike Green (bruised shoulder), John Erskine (concussion), Sergei Fedorov (sprain ankle)...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 2, 2008; 10:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
 
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Morning Reading List

Everyone following the Capitals has grown accustomed to the daily laundry list of injury updates, which Tarik broke down by man games lost yesterday. Read more about how the team continues to adjust to the absence of so many key players in today's hard-copy story. *Here's a leftover from last...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 2, 2008; 8:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
 
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The Caps' Injury Situation, By The Numbers

Here are some interesting stats regarding the Caps' injury situation, which, as I'm sure you know by now, has reached ridiculous proportions. Through 24 games, the Caps are 82 man games lost. A man game lost is counted when a player is unable to suit up because of injury or...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 1, 2008; 5:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
 
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Post-Practice Injury Update

Looks like the Caps are going to be significantly shorthanded tomorrow against the Panthers. Tom Poti, Mike Green, John Erskine, Alexander Semin and Sergei Fedorov are not expected to play, Coach Bruce Boudreau said, while Boyd Gordon is questionable. A few other notes and quotes from KCI: *The Caps are...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 1, 2008; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
 
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Ovechkin Named November's First Star

For the second straight month, the Caps have the NHL's First Star of the Month. Alexander Semin received the top honor for October, and now Alex Ovechkin has been named the league's first star for November after notching 11 goals and 14 assists in 15 games. When Ovechkin got the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 1, 2008; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Monday Morning (Injury) Update

The Caps' injury situation doesn't appear to be getting a whole lot better based on practice. But we'll have a much better idea of where things stand later. *Rookie defenseman Karl Alzner (arm/shoulder) is back on the ice and appears to be participating fully after missing the third period of...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 1, 2008; 10:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Morning Reading List

*The Capitals reassigned Chris Bourque to Hershey, but there's a chance the left wing could be back in Arlington soon. He had an assist in the Bears' ninth-straight win yesterday, a 3-2 victory over Norfolk. *We'll have more about the Panthers before tomorrow's game but in case you missed it...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 1, 2008; 8:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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