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Capitals Insider: February 1, 2009 - February 7, 2009

Caps 3, Panthers 1

There was an all-too-familiar feeling in Verizon Center when Shaone Morrisonn was whistled for a 5-minute major and a 10-minute game misconduct for checking from behind with 5:01 remaining in regulation. The Capitals would have to kill a 5-on-3 for the fifth straight game, then face a regular power play...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 7, 2009; 10:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (106)
 
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Tonight's Lineup

Brooks Laich took warm up and all signs indicate that he will play tonight. There was only one change from this morning's lines, as it looks like Laich will join Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Semin on the second line. Here's what tonight's lines should look like. Ovechkin-Backstrom-Nylander Laich-Fedorov-Semin Fleischmann-Steckel-Fehr Brashear-Gordon-Bradley...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 7, 2009; 6:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (131)
 
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Morning Skate Update

Well, there's at least one person hoping for Detroit and Washington to meet in the Stanley Cup Finals: Staffan Kronwall, the newest Capital and younger brother of Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall. "That would be pretty special," Staffan said with a big smile this morning. Kronwall arrived in town at...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 7, 2009; 12:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
 
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Laich Expects To Play; Erskine Out

Winger Brooks Laich participated fully in the morning skate and said he expects to play tonight against Florida, despite the bruised calf he suffered Thursday while blocking a shot. If Laich does suit up, that probably means Alexandre Giroux will be headed back to Hershey. I'll try to get some...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 7, 2009; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
 
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Giroux Recalled; Kronwall Here, Too (Update)

While watching my son's mini-mite practice here at KCI (too early) this morning, I ran into Alexandre Giroux and Staffan Kronwall. Giroux confirmed that he has been recalled, which could mean that Brooks Laich is out with a bruised leg, and Kronwall told me he got into town last night...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 7, 2009; 9:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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Odds And Ends From KCI

As you can see, today has been busy out here at KCI. But there was a lot of stuff I couldn't fit into the previous entries. Here are those odds and ends: *Today's practice consisted of a lot of systems work. But anybody who watched last night's 5-4 loss to...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 6, 2009; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (120)
 
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McPhee on Kronwall: 'We'll Take A Look'

After last night's 5-4 loss to Los Angeles, it was clear the Caps needed to make some changes on defense. And today they did, adding rookie Karl Alzner and picking up Staffas Kronwall off of re-entry waivers from Toronto. Here are McPhee's comments on the Kronwall move: "Our pro scouts...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 6, 2009; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Caps Going With Neuvirth, Varlamov (Updated)

GM George McPhee just addressed the media and said that he has no plans to puruse a veteran backup goaltender to replace Brent Johnson. Instead, the Caps will rely on Michal Neuvirth and Simeon Varlamov (when he recovers from his knee injury) as Jose Theodore's backup. "We're pretty high on...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 6, 2009; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
 
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Caps Claim Staffan Kronwall (Updated)

The Caps just picked up Staffan Kronwall off waivers from the Maple Leafs/Marlies. The defenseman is headed for Washington. Kronwall, 26, is believed to earn the league minimum. But since he was claimed on re-entry waivers, the Caps are only on the hook for half of his remaining salary. Here...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 6, 2009; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
 
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Alzner Recalled (Updated)

Defenseman Karl Alzner has been recalled and the top line currently has Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Michael Nylander on it. Update:Also, Brooks Laich and Viktor Kozlov are not practicing. Laich is day-to-day with a lower leg contusion after taking a shot off the calf in the second period of...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 6, 2009; 11:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (108)
 
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Morning Reading List

Nick Wass-The Associated Press *As if last night's ugly game wasn't enough for the Capitals, afterward they received some more bad news. Back up goaltender Brent Johnson will have surgery on the hip that has bothered him all season and miss six to eight weeks. All of a the...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 6, 2009; 8:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
 
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Johnson: Surgery 'Has To Be Done'

Brent Johnson said he realized after the first period of Sunday's 7-4 victory over Ottawa that he needed to have his problematic hip surgically repaired. "It just wasn't cooperating," Johnson said as he exited Verizon Center last night. "Sometimes it doesn't let me go one way. I noticed it a...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 6, 2009; 12:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
 
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Kings 5, Caps 4

Alex Ovechkin didn't want to talk about his 200th goal after this game. The important thing was that the Capitals didn't play for the first two periods of the game, he said. That despite scoring the fastest goal to start a game this season they came out flat, a misstep...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 5, 2009; 11:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Johnson To Have Surgery

Brent Johnson just said he plans to have surgery to repair a labral tear in his hip. The surgery will sideline the backup goalie for an extended amount of time, though maybe not the rest of the regular season. The procedure is scheduled for early next week. More in a...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 5, 2009; 9:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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Tonight's Lines

As per this morning, Viktor Kozlov is indeed out, with Eric Fehr moving up to the top line with Matt Bradley taking the right wing spot on the third. Based on warm up here is what tonight's lines should look like: Ovechkin-Fedorov-Fehr Semin-Backstrom-Laich Fleischmann-Nylander-Bradley Brashear-Steckel-Gordon Erskine-Green Morrisonn-Poti Schultz-Jurcina Theodore Neuvirth...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 5, 2009; 6:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (149)
 
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Morning Skate Update

Here's the latest from KCI: Viktor Kozlov will indeed miss tonight's game against Los Angeles. But there still is no update on Brent Johnson, who has been visiting specialists the past few days. Bruce Boudreau said Kozlov could return on Saturday; Johnson is at least out for the weekend. I'm...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 5, 2009; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (132)
 
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No Kozlov, Johnson

The Caps are on the ice for the morning skate but Viktor Kozlov and goaltender Brent Johnson are missing. I'll try to get an update on their status after the skate. But the fact that they are not skating almost certainly rules them out for tonight's game against Los Angeles....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 5, 2009; 10:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (90)
 
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Morning Reading List

*Rarely a game goes by at Verizon Center when Bruce Boudreau isn't asked about his team's success at home. The Capitals winning ways in Washington are hardly new at this point in the season, but as they continue their tear on Verizon Center ice another milestone is within reach...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 5, 2009; 7:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
 
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Caps Fan Chant: 'It's All Your Fault'

In case you missed Dan Steinberg's video from yesterday ......

By Jon DeNunzio  |  February 4, 2009; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (293)
 
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Morning Reading List

Rich Schultz--The Associated Press *The Capitals extended their lead at second place in the conference and Michael Nylander recorded a multiple-goal game for the first time since Dec. 29, 2007 as Washington thwarted the red-hot Devils. *Here are New Jersey perspectives from The Star-Ledger and the Daily News. *John...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 4, 2009; 7:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
 
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Caps 5, Devils 2

Tonight's 5-2 win in New Jersey was big. But, as I wrote in tomorrow's Post, the possible resurgence of Michael Nylander could prove to be even bigger. Coach Bruce Boudreau said he's noticed an improvement in Nylander's play in recent games -- and the veteran center's stats back him up....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 3, 2009; 11:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
 
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Kozlov Out (Update)

Viktor Kozlov did not return for the start of the second period. I have inquired about his status and will provide an update when I hear something, Also, I caught up with GM George McPhee between periods and he said that Brent Johnson could need surgery on his hip. At...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 3, 2009; 8:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (161)
 
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Tonight's Lineup

Jose Theodore will start tonight and face Scott Clemmensen in a battle between the Southeast Division leading Caps and the Atlantic Division leading Devils at Prudential Center. Here's the rest of the Caps' lineup (based on warmups): Forwards Ovechkin-Fedorov-Kozlov Laich-Backstrom-Semin Fleischmann-Nylander-Fehr Brashear-Steckel-Gordon Scratch--Bradley Defense Erskine-Green Morrisonn-Poti Schultz-Jurcina Check back later...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 3, 2009; 6:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (126)
 
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Boudreau: 'I'm Hoping Eric Seizes the Moment'

With Chris Clark out indefinitely, Eric Fehr is going to see a lot more playing time than he did previously. But with that expanded role comes increased expectations. "There's a chance he's not going to be in every night; we still have 13 forwards," Boudreau said. "But you give guys...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 3, 2009; 1:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (154)
 
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Bradley Odd Forward Out

Coach Bruce Boudreau would not divulge the Caps' line combinations for tonight's game against the Devils -- other than to say they will be different than Sunday's. But he did confirm that veteran Matt Bradley will be a healthy scratch, and based on the skate, Jose Theodore will get the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 3, 2009; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
 
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Caps Recall Neuvirth

Goalie Michal Neuvirth has been summoned from Hershey and will join the team for tonight's game against the Devils at Prudential Center. He's replacing backup goaltender Brent Johnson, who is a day to day with an injury. The Caps are not being specific about the nature of Johnson's injury, but...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 3, 2009; 10:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
 
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Morning Reading List

John Mcdonnell -- The Washington Post *The Capitals have been assessed the sixth-most minor penalties (256) in the league so far this season and it's not a stat they're proud of. As they try to tweak and perfect different parts of their game in the latter half of the...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 3, 2009; 7:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
 
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Clark To Have Surgery

The Caps confirmed earlier this afternoon that captain Chris Clark will have surgery on his right wrist on Thursday and will be sidelined indefinitely. This is the second straight year Clark's season has come to an early end because of an injury. There is no timetable for his return, but...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 2, 2009; 5:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Boudreau: 'Clark Is Our Captain'

GM George McPhee said Chris Clark suffered the wrist injury in training camp and that he met with the Caps captain a few days ago and explained to him that the team would prefer for him to have surgery instead of continuing to play hurt. "It has everything to with...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 2, 2009; 12:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (153)
 
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Clark Could Be Done For Season

GM George McPhee just said that captain Chris Clark could miss the remainder of the regular season with the wrist injury that has been dogging him since training camp. Clark is at the doctor's office right now. I should know more later, but McPhee said it's looking like Clark will,...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 2, 2009; 11:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
 
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Hartsburg Out in Ottawa

Well, that didn't take long. Craig Hartsburg has been relieved of his duties this morning, just 48 games into his tenure and less than a day after his Sens lost 7-4 at Verizon Center on Sunday, according to this TSN.ca report....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 2, 2009; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Morning Reading List

Jim Young-Reuters *After being limited to two goals in each of the four games prior to this weekend's back-to-back set, the Capitals racked up 11 goals in six periods. It was probably only a matter of time before the offense broke out and Washington did so in explosive fashion,...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 2, 2009; 7:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
 
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Too Much Caps Coverage?

Mike Wise gets fans at Saturday's game against the Red Wings all riled up by asking one question: "The Post gives the Capitals way too much coverage. Would you agree?" Enjoy, and watch before posting angry comments!...

By washingtonpost.com Sports Editor  |  February 1, 2009; 8:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
 
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Caps 7, Senators 4

In a game that had a plethora of entertaining goals -- Alex Ovechkin's pair of tallies through Filip Kuba's legs, Mike Green's "Hail Mary" pass and ensuing breakaway by Alexander Semin, the pair of under-five-second power play goals -- that perhaps it's best to start off with the big picture....

By Katie Carrera  |  February 1, 2009; 7:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Today's Lineup

Based off warm ups, here's how the lineup should look: Forwards Ovechkin-Fedorov-Kozlov Fleischmann-Backstrom-Fehr Laich-Nylander-Semin Brashear-Gordon-Bradley Scratches-Clark and Steckel Defense Erskine-Green Morrisonn-Poti Schultz-Jurcina Johnson Theodore After yesterday's high-energy game against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Capitals don't want to have a let down against the Senators, who are 17-23-7 heading...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 1, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (251)
 
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Johnson Starting, Boudreau on Semin

Brent Johnson makes his first start in seven games this afternoon against Ottawa and will face Brian Elliott, who stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced in Ottawa's 3-2 win over the Caps on Jan. 20, will get the start for the Senators. Coach Bruce Boudreau wants to give...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 1, 2009; 11:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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