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Capitals Insider: February 8, 2009 - February 14, 2009

Caps 5, 'Bolts 1

Shaving cream was everywhere in the visitors' dressing room at St. Pete Times Forum after tonight's 5-1 win over the Lightning. It was on Mike Green's face. It was on Michal Neuvirth's face. It was on the floor, the wall. It was on my new sportcoat, too. Alex Ovechkin spared...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 14, 2009; 11:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (112)
 
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Tonight's lineup

Michal Neuvirth will make his first NHL start tonight at St. Pete Times Forum and will face Tampa Bay's Mike McKenna. Karl Alzner, Milan Jurcina and Jay Beagle will be the healthy scratches while Viktor Kozlov (groin) will be medical scratch. The rest of the Caps' lineup should look like...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 14, 2009; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (328)
 
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Kolzig talks retirement and about Johnson's injury

I just caught up with former Caps (and current Lightning) goalie Olie Kolzig, who is out for the season with a ruptured biceps tendon. As always, he had plenty of interesting things to say: Q: So, is this it for you Olie? A: "Right now it's season-ending. But in a...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 14, 2009; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Morning Skate Update

Looks like Michal Neuvirth will make his first career start tonight at St. Pete Times Forum. If he doesn, he'll be the eighth player to make his NHL debut for the Caps this season. Incredible for a team that's leading its division, isn't it? Also looks like the scratches will...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 14, 2009; 12:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Semin set to return, Kozlov not so much

Alexander Semin will return from a one game absence tomorrow night against Tampa Bay, according to Coach Bruce Boudreau. This morning, Semin replaced Michael Nylander on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Viktor Kozlov, meantime, only lasted a few minutes on the ice at St. Pete Times...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 13, 2009; 1:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
 
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Semin Skates

I'm told Alexander Semin practiced fully this morning in Tampa, which could mean he'll be ready to return tomorrow against the Lightning. Semin missed the Caps' 5-4 shootout loss to the Rangers on Wednesday with an undisclosed injury. I'm also hearing Viktor Kozlov also participated in some capacity, though his...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 13, 2009; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
 
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Morning Reading List

*Greg Wyshynski over at Yahoo shares an interview from SovSport with Alex Ovechkin where the Caps star talks about what it would mean to win Olympic gold and how it would be a "tragedy" to him if the NHL doesn't participate in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. *Dan...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 13, 2009; 7:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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Kronwall Activated (Updated)

I'm told newly acquired defenseman Staffan Kronwall's immigration paperwork has been completed and that he's been activated. I'm expecting him to suit up for at least one game this weekend and I'm planning on writing a story on him for Saturday's paper. Update:Also, goalie Brent Johnson had surgery on his...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 12, 2009; 12:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (92)
 
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Morning Reading List

Kathy Willens-The Associated Press *The Capitals failed to sweep the season series against the Rangers with last night's 5-4 shootout loss in Madison Square Garden, but on the positive side Mike Green tied the NHL record for consecutive games with a goal at seven straight. *Here are some New...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 12, 2009; 7:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (83)
 
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Rangers 5, Caps 4 (SO)

Jose Theodore didn't know the rule, and neither did Coach Bruce Boudreau. So here it is: No. 25.2, which states, "No goal can be scored on a rebound of any kind (an exception being the puck off the goal post or crossbar, then the goalkeeper and then directly into the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 11, 2009; 11:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
 
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Tonight's Lineup

Jose Theodore will start in net tonight and face Henrik Lundqvist as the Caps aim to complete their first season sweep of the Rangers in franchise history. Alexander Semin, John Erskine and Staffan Kronwall will be the scratches. Viktor Kozlov, meantime, remains on injured reserve. Forwards Ovechkin-Backstrom-Nylander Fleischmann-Fedorov-Fehr Laich-Steckel-Gordon Brashear-Beagle-Bradley...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 11, 2009; 5:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (362)
 
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Semin Out Tonight

Alexander Semin will miss tonight's game at MSG, Coach Bruce Boudreau said moments ago. Semin, who is nursing an undisclosed minor injury, will be replaced in the lineup by Jay Beagle. Beagle, 23, will become the seventh player to make his NHL debut for the Caps this season. Boudreau wouldn't...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 11, 2009; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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Morning Skate Update

Alexander Semin told me moments ago that he hopes to play tonight against the struggling Rangers at MSG. But it appears Jay Beagle will stick around and perhaps take the pregame warmup -- just in case. "Semin couldn't practice the last few days, so we're not sure if he can...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 11, 2009; 12:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (101)
 
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Beagle Recalled

Forward Jay Beagle has been recalled from Hershey and will join the Caps for the morning skate at MSG. He will play tonight against the Rangers if Alexander Semin, who is nursing an injury, can't. I'll have more later....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 11, 2009; 10:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (98)
 
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Ted Helps A Homeless Man

Earlier this morning at Union Station I was sipping my Starbucks in the waiting area when Ted Leonsis walked in by himself. We talked for a few minutes, then we headed to the train. As we walked to the track entrance, a homeless man who was seated on the floor...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 11, 2009; 8:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
 
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Morning Reading List

Toni L. Sandys -TWP *While it's uncertain if Michal Neuvirth will indeed make his NHL debut during the Capitals' three-game road trip, which begins tonight against the Rangers, he's certainly hoping a highlight of his well-traveled, first professional season will come in Florida this weekend. *Colleague Corey Masisak also...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 11, 2009; 7:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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The Latest On Semin And A Teddy Roosevelt Sighting

Here's the latest from KCI: *As you have probably read by now, Alexander Semin is questionable for tomorrow's game with an undisclosed injury. If he can't suit up, the Caps will have to make a call-up today because Viktor Kozlov (groin) is "very questionable," according to Coach Bruce Boudreau....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 10, 2009; 1:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (105)
 
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Semin A "Maybe" For Tomorrow

Winger Alexander Semin left practice after about 10 minutes today and is a "maybe" for tomorrow's game in New York, Coach Bruce Boudreau said. Boudreau said Semin is nursing an injury, though he would not be specific. *Boudreau also confirmed that Viktor Kozlov will likely miss the Rangers game, but...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 10, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
 
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No Kozlov

Injured forward Viktor Kozlov is not on the ice at all today. That probably means he won't play tomorrow in New York, but I won't be able to confirm that until after practice. Kozlov has missed the past two games with a groin muscle injury. It appeared he was making...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 10, 2009; 10:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Morning Reading List

Mitchell Layton-Getty *Most who follow the Capitals knows that the quality of Verizon Center ice is a hot button topic and has been for several seasons. On Saturday against the Panthers, the ice's temperamental nature was on display for most everyone to see as the puck bounced and rolled...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 10, 2009; 7:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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Monday Practice Update

Bruce Boudreau said Viktor Kozlov, who missed the past two games with a groin injury, was just playing it safe by not participating in full practice today and that he is going on the road trip. "He was just taking it slow today," said Boudreau, who added that Alexander Semin...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 9, 2009; 1:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
 
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Neuvirth is Back (Update)

Michal Neuvirth drove back from Hershey last night and is in net this morning at KCI. Defenseman Staffan Kronwall is also on the ice and wearing No. 44 and Alexander Semin is the only player not on the ice at the moment. He did, however, skate briefly in shorts and...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 9, 2009; 10:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
 
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Morning Reading List

Nick Wass-The Associated Press *Sports Illustrated becomes the latest to throw a Mike Green hat into the Norris Trophy ring. *The Toronto Sun talked to Staffan Kronwall after he arrived in Washington to get his take on going from the Marlies to the second place team in the NHL's...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 9, 2009; 7:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Goaltending Update

Michael Neuvirth, who was assigned to Hershey earlier today, will start in goal for the Bears tonight against Portland. The move was made to get Neuvirth some game action since he hasn't faced any real shots in a week. Unless the plan changes, Neuvirth will be headed back to Washington...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 8, 2009; 4:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
 
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Neuvirth, Giroux Returned to Hershey

The Capitals announced that goaltender Michal Neuvirth and Alexandre Giroux have been assigned to the Hershey Bears, who host Portland today at 5 p.m. Neuvirth served as Jose Theodore's backup the past three games. Read the team's full release here....

By Katie Carrera  |  February 8, 2009; 2:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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