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

Semin, Theodore Help Caps End Home-Ice Slump

The Caps finally won on home ice tonight, snapping a four-game losing streak at Verizon Center by beating the 'Canes, 5-4, in a shootout. But the overwhelming sentiment around here was that they were fortunate to get a pair of points on a night when they misfired on a five-on-one...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 14, 2009; 11:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
 
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Caps 5, Hurricanes 4 (SO)

Tarik will be back with the big picture and quotes from tonight, but this is the kind of game you have to start talking about right away, isn't it? The Caps held on to win this dogfight, 5-4, in a shootout at a raucous Verizon Center after both teams traded...

By washingtonpost.com Sports Editor  |  March 14, 2009; 9:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Tonight's Lineup: Hurricanes at Capitals

Jose Theodore gets the start in net and will oppose Cam Ward tonight at Verizon Center. Also, Sergei Fedorov (flu-like symptoms) and Donald Brashear (sprained knee) are out and Hershey call-up Keith Aucoin is in. Forwards Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin Fleischmann-Nylander-Kozlov Laich-Aucoin-Fehr Steckel-Gordon-Bradley Defense Morrisonn-Green Poti-Erskine Schultz-Jurcina How's The Ice? One thing to...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 14, 2009; 6:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (187)
 
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Fedorov out, Aucoin In

Sergei Fedorov will miss his second consecutive game tonight with "flu-like symptoms," Coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed moments ago. With Fedorov out, Hershey recall Keith Aucoin will suit up and face his former team....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 14, 2009; 5:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Brashear out and Other Notes

Here's the latest from KCI: Injury Update Sergei Fedorov's status remains unclear, but Coach Boudreau said Donald Brashear (sprained knee) is definitely not playing tonight. He did not skate this morning and was walking slowly with a bit of a limp when I saw him. Meantime, if Fedorov can't go,...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 14, 2009; 12:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
 
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Fedorov 'Questionable' for Tonight

Coach Bruce Boudreau said Sergei Fedorov (undisclosed illness) will be a game-time decision against Carolina. But if I had to guess about his status, I would guess the veteran center will not face the 'Canes tonight. At least that's the sense I got. If Fedorov doesn't play, Keith Aucoin, the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 14, 2009; 11:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Aucoin Recalled and Fedorov Returns

With Donald Brashear still out with a sprained knee and Sergei Fedorov's status undetermined, the Caps have recalled Keith Aucoin from Hershey. Aucoin is on the ice for the morning skate, and presumably, will be in the lineup tonight against Carolina, his former club. Fedorov is also back on the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 14, 2009; 10:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Alex Ovechkin Gets Eastern Motors on SportsCenter

Eastern Motors enjoys a bit of free advertising, thanks to the magic of No. 8. Ripped from the D.C. Sports Bog:...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 13, 2009; 4:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Caps Look for Balance on Offense

From Katie Carrera: Despite the recent wins, only five players -- Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Brooks Laich, Nicklas Backstrom and Sergei Fedorov -- have scored the past five games. The Caps are still searching for that consistent secondary scoring. "I think it's just a matter of time before Tomas [Fleischmann]...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 13, 2009; 2:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
 
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Practice Update: Boudreau as 'Juice Boy'

Coach Bruce Boudreau is rather well-known for the games his teams play at the end of practice. Most of you are probably familiar with the "Juice Boy" game, where players try to shoot the puck in the top two corners of the net, which are blocked off by sticks. Well,...

By Katie Carrera  |  March 13, 2009; 1:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Theodore Gets the Day Off

Katie Carrera reports from practice: Jose Theodore was given today off, so Brett Leonhardt is serving as the second goaltender in practice today. Sergei Fedorov and Donald Brashear are the only skaters not on the ice....

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 13, 2009; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
 
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Giroux Assigned to Hershey

The Caps have returned forward Alexandre Giroux to the Hershey Bears. That most likely means that Sergei Fedorov, who was a late scratch for last night's game in Philadelphia, will be ready to go against Carolina on Saturday. More to come......

By Katie Carrera  |  March 13, 2009; 10:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Road Warriors

Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau cracked a smile when asked after last night's 2-1 win over the Flyers at Wachovia Center if the "funk" he referred to so often during his team's four-game losing streak was officially over. "We've got to keep going," Boudreau said. "I don't know. We've got to...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 13, 2009; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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Morning Reading List

Tom Mihalek--The Associated Press The Capitals continued their success on the road with a gritty 2-1 win over the Flyers to exorcise some demons at Wachovia Center that may have remained after their 7-1 loss there earlier this season. After being kept under wraps by Nashville two days earlier,...

By Katie Carrera  |  March 13, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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Big Win on Broad Street

When the Caps left town Monday afternoon, several players said they hoped getting away from home would help them refocus and get back to basics. Did it ever. The Capitals completed a stellar two-game trip tonight in Philadelphia, where they claimed a 2-1 win over the rival Flyers two days...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 13, 2009; 12:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Caps 2, Flyers 1

Brooks Laich and Alex Ovechkin scored and the Caps held on against the Philadelphia Flyers to win their fifth straight away game, 2-1 -- Washington's longest road win streak since 2001. Michael Nylander returned to the lineup in place of LW Donald Brashear, who suffered a sprained knee Tuesday night...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 12, 2009; 9:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (98)
 
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Fedorov a Late Scratch

The lineup was just handed out here in the press box and Sergei Fedorov is listed as scratch. So that means he's the sick player Coach Bruce Boudreau referred to before the game. Fedorov will be replaced by Alexandre Giroux, who was recalled as a precaution. So those lines I...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 12, 2009; 6:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (215)
 
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Tonight's Lineup

Jose Theodore will start in goal tonight for the Caps and will oppose the Flyers' Marty Biron. Donald Brashear (sprained knee) and Alexandre Giroux (healthy) are the scratches. Here's the rest of the Caps' lineup: Forwards Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov Fleischmann-Fedorov-Semin Laich-Nylander-Fehr Steckel-Gordon-Bradley Defense Morrisonn-Green Poti-Erskine Schultz-Jurcina I'll have some additional thoughts/notes/quotes after...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 12, 2009; 6:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Caps Recall Giroux (Update)

Donald Brashear will indeed miss tonight's game with a sprained knee. Also, because a another forward is feeling "ill," the team has recalled Alexandre Giroux as a precaution, according to Coach Bruce Boudreau. If the undisclosed forward can't go -- Boudreau wouldn't say which player is ailing or what might...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 12, 2009; 5:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
 
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Brashear on Fighting: Don't Change a Thing

Here's the latest must-read from our good friend Slava Malamud of Sport Express: The curtailing of the NHL fighting culture proposed by the general managers this week is making news in Russia, too. Sport-Express is running a big story on it in tomorrow's edition, which includes my interview with Caps...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 12, 2009; 3:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (109)
 
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Twittering the Caps

We've been told it's about time the Capitals Insider joins the fleet of Post sports twitterers, so here goes nothing: You can follow us at http://twitter.com/CapitalsInsider....

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 12, 2009; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Pothier Making Strides in Hershey

Tarik El-Bashir reports: Brian Pothier's road back to the NHL is going smoothly down in Hershey, I'm told. But Coach Bruce Boudreau said this morning that he's going to proceed cautiously with the veteran defenseman, who's coming off a 15-month layoff because of a concussion. "Again, he's played three games...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 12, 2009; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Morning Skate Update: Brashear's Knee 'Not Good'

I spoke to Donald Brashear briefly this morning, and when I asked him about his knee, he said, "not good" after getting in an off-ice workout. He was also walking with limp when he headed to the bus. I'm thinking he won't be ready to go tonight and that Michael...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 12, 2009; 1:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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Brashear 'Questionable at Best'

The morning skate just started here at Wachovia Center, but Donald Brashear is not on the ice. He's pedaling a bike in the dressing room and is "questionable, at best" for tonight's game against the Flyers, according to Coach Bruce Boudreau. Brashear suffered a sprained knee when he fell awkwardly...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 12, 2009; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (73)
 
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Morning Reading List

Once an on-ice tough guy himself, Caps GM George McPhee was part of a subcommittee at this week's general managers meetings that examined fighting and talks about the suggested rule changes to punish players who participate in staged fights and those who instigate fights after clean hits. While we're...

By Katie Carrera  |  March 12, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
 
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Wednesday Update and Fight Story Preview

No Caps Practice After last night's emotional (and physically draining) 2-1 overtime win in Nashville, Coach Bruce Boudreau called off practice today. Fight Story I'm working on a story about the future of fighting in hockey for tomorrow's Post. As many of you have read in recent days, fighting was...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 11, 2009; 1:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (209)
 
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Morning Reading List

Frederick Breedon--The Associated Press After allowing a goal in the first minute, a pair of fights and being foiled several times by Nashville goaltender Dan Ellis, the Capitals got back on the winning side last night as Sergei Fedorov's overtime goal snapped a four-game losing streak. Here is the...

By Katie Carrera  |  March 11, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (104)
 
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Slump Buster

Bruce Boudreau said the first shift of tonight's game was among the worst of his tenure. But that opening-minute breakdown that led to Ryan Suter's goal did not matter much to the coach or his players in the jubilant visitors' dressing room here at Sommet Center following an emotional 2-1...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 11, 2009; 12:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Caps 2, Predators 1, Overtime

The Caps got back on the road and finally won one tonight after dropping four straight at home. Sergei Fedorov's goal 2:20 into overtime gave Washington a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators in a game that featured several nasty altercations. Tarik is working on a story and will post...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 10, 2009; 10:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
 
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Brashear Out (Updated)

I haven't received an update on Donald Brashear's condition, but he has not been on the ice since getting dropped by a Wade Belak left jab in the first period. I hope to have some news on his status after the game. Update:Caps are saying sprained knee for Brashear. Update:Jason...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 10, 2009; 9:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (141)
 
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Tonight's Lineup

Jose Theodore will start tonight for the Caps and will oppose Predators backup Dan Ellis, who will get the nod because standout rookie Pekka Rinne has the flu. Rinne will be replaced on the bench by Drew MacIntyre, who was recalled this afternoon from AHL Milwaukee. Forwards Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov Fleischmann-Fedorov-Semin Laich-Steckel-Fehr...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 10, 2009; 7:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (293)
 
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Morning Skate Update

Here's the latest from Sommet Center: No Changes Coach Bruce Boudreau said before the morning skate that he expects to use the same lineup tonight that played Sunday. That means Jose Theodore will get the nod in net. Round Two Thanks to the NHL's quirky schedule, the Predators are one...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 10, 2009; 1:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (103)
 
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Rinne 'Doubtful' Tonight

The slumping Caps may catch a little break tonight in Nashville. I'm hearing Predators starting goaltender Pekka Rinne (22-11-1 with a 2.27 goals against average with a .921 save percentage) is doubtful because of the flu. If Rinne can't play, Barry Trotz will turn to Dan Ellis, who hasn't played...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 10, 2009; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
 
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Morning Reading List

Nick Wass--The Associated Press Tarik asked yesterday what some of the factors are that could have led to the Capitals' recent skid. Key among the answers is the absence of secondary scoring and the ugly, gritty goals that are scored only when a player is willing to take a...

By Katie Carrera  |  March 10, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
 
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Carbonneau out in Montreal

The Canadiens have canned Coach Guy Carbonneau, according to a report on TSN.ca. GM Bob Gainey is reportedly taking over behind the bench. From Jack Adams Award finalist to the unemployment line in the span of a year. Wow....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 9, 2009; 5:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
 
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Minor Move

The Caps have reassigned "emergency call-up" Tyler Sloan to Hershey. So that must mean the team is confident defenseman Tom Poti won't have any setbacks with his nagging groin injury....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 9, 2009; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (127)
 
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Practice Update

Got to be brief today because I've got a meeting in a few. But I wanted to catch you up on this morning's practice at KCI: No Laich One day after Brooks Laich registered a goal and an assist against the Pens, the forward was absent from practice today. Coach...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 9, 2009; 12:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (66)
 
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What's Gone Wrong?

I think we can all agree that the Caps' effort yesterday was markedly better than their previous three. But they've still lost four in a row -- for the first time under Coach Bruce Boudreau, I might add -- and the playoffs are fast approaching. So is it time for...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 9, 2009; 11:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (113)
 
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Morning Reading List

Manuel Balce Ceneta--The Associated Press *Much to the dismay of the Capitals fans in Verizon Center yesterday it wasn't just any Penguin who scored the game winning goal in the shootout but Sidney Crosby, the object of their taunts, signs and personalized jerseys, who handed Washington its fourth-straight loss....

By Katie Carrera  |  March 9, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
 
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Pens 4, Caps 3, Shootout

Although Sidney Crosby's shootout goal handed the Caps their fourth straight loss -- the first such streak under Bruce Boudreau -- there was a feeling in the room afterward that this game is one Washington can build off of to end the skid. Even injured captain Chris Clark came into...

By Katie Carrera  |  March 8, 2009; 8:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
 
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Today's lineup (Updated)

Injury Update It appears Alex Ovechkin will face the Penguins this afternoon, though Coach Bruce Boudreau stopped short of confirming that he will. The status of defenseman Tom Poti is even less clear. Boudreau said he'll take the warmup and decide whether he can go or not. If he can't,...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 8, 2009; 1:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (444)
 
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