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Capitals Insider: March 29, 2009 - April 4, 2009

Fedorov Expected to Play Tomorrow

Sergei Fedorov left practice early today, but his injury is not believed to be serious. Coach Bruce Boudreau said the 39-year-old center was hobbled after blocking a shot in last night's game and is expected to suit up for tomorrow's game against Atlanta. Boudreau also said that Viktor Kozlov is...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 4, 2009; 1:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (245)
 
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Fedorov Limps Off

Less than 10 minutes into this morning's practice, Sergei Fedorov left the ice with a pretty pronounced limp and headed straight for the locker room with a trainer. I hope to get a status update on him soon. Also, Viktor Kozlov is on the ice after missing some shifts in...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 4, 2009; 11:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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Boudreau: Winning Division 'Not Our Goal'

What a weird night at Verizon Center. Three Buffalo goals go in off of Washington players. The Caps blow three one-goal leads, but end up clinching the Southeast Division by reaching overtime. Then Sergei Fedorov makes an uncharacteristic turnover in extra time to lose the game. Like I said, weird....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 4, 2009; 12:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (71)
 
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Capitals Clinch Southeast Division

Despite a 5-4 overtime loss to a Buffalo Sabres team desperate to stay alive, the Caps just got the single point they needed to capture their second straight Southeast Division title. Washington could have used an extra point to help lock up the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 3, 2009; 9:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
 
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Tonight's Lineup: Sabres at Caps

Rookie Simeon Varlamov will start in net for the Caps tonight as they attempt to clinch the Southeast Division title for the second straight season, while the Sabres are expected to start Ryan Miller. The Caps only need one point, so even an overtime loss will get it done. Here's...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 3, 2009; 5:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (212)
 
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Capitals on the Verge

Here's the latest from KCI: Because the Rangers failed the Caps last night in Carolina, Alex Ovechkin and Co. will have to take matters into their own hands tonight. They can clinch their second straight Southeast Division title with a win or overtime loss against the Buffalo Sabres, a team...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 3, 2009; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (130)
 
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Ovechkin Meets LeBron

It's all at the D.C. Sports Bog. Here's an excerpt: So we all stood in the hallway: Ted Leonsis, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, a bunch of LeBron's people, a few other media folks. The entire Cavs team came through, with some, like Zydrunas Ilgauskas, stopping to chat with Ovechkin. The...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 3, 2009; 11:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Erskine Out Tonight

John Erskine will be the odd man out tonight as Coach Bruce Boudreau continues to rotate his defensemen....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 3, 2009; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Morning Skate Update: Sabres at Caps

The Caps just hit the ice for the morning skate, and for a change, they are wearing different colored jerseys. Here's how they are lined up: Ovechkin-Fedorov-Kozlov Laich-Backstrom-Semin Fleischmann-Nylander-Fehr Steckel-Aucoin-Bradley I'll have an update later on, but I can't promise exactly when, because I'm doing some video stuff to preview...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 3, 2009; 9:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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Morning Reading List: Caps Find Motivation in History

(Preston Keres - The Washington Post) The Capitals may already have a playoff spot, but with five games remaining in the regular season they're looking to capture a few more milestones to further cement this year's team in franchise history. The Washington Times takes a look at Mike Green's...

By Katie Carrera  |  April 3, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
 
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Caps Sign Joe Finley

The Caps have signed 2005 draft pick Joe Finley to a two-year entry level contract beginning next season. He is expected to join Hershey on Monday. Finley, a four-time letter winner at North Dakota, is a 6-foot-7, 240-pound defenseman who hits hard and plays with an edge. But he's also...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 2, 2009; 3:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (98)
 
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First-Round Opponent: Who Do You Want?

As the Capitals close in on a second straight Southeast Division title and look to lock up the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, let's take another look at some potential first-round playoff matchups. Last week, readers voted for Carolina Hurricanes over Philadelphia Flyers (no surprise there) and were...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 2, 2009; 1:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (66)
 
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Holtby To Hershey? (Updated)

Hershey fans may soon get to see one of the Caps' top prospects. With goalie Michal Nuevirth out with a lower body injury, General Manager George McPhee said this morning that the team is considering bringing 19-year-old Braden Holtby to the Bears. Holtby, whose Saskatoon Blades were just eliminated from...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 2, 2009; 12:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
 
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Morning Reading List: Green's Night

(John McDonnell - The Washington Post) It was Mike Green's night as he scored two goals to not only set the Capitals record for power-play goals by a defenseman in a season with 18, but to become the first NHL blueliner to record 30 or more goals in a...

By Katie Carrera  |  April 2, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (108)
 
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Green Gets to 30 Goals

So how did Coach Bruce Boudreau describe tonight's 5-3 win over the last-place New York Islanders? "Bad. Okay. Good. Bad. Good," he said. "We were horrid in the first 35 minutes, first 25 minutes, we weren't very good. It all comes down to emotion ... and we didn't match theirs...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 2, 2009; 12:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Capitals 5, Islanders 3

Mike Green scored both the tying and winning power-play goals in the third period, becoming just the eighth defenseman in NHL history to tally 30 in a season and giving the Caps a 5-3 victory over the Islanders at Verizon Center. Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading goal No. 54 thanks...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 1, 2009; 9:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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Mike Green Hits No. 30

Mike Green scored twice in the third period to reach 30 goals on the season, becoming just the eighth defenseman in NHL history to reach that mark. Both of Green's goals came on the power play -- one to tie, and one to give Washington a 4-3 lead 12:18 into...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 1, 2009; 9:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Tonight's Lineup: Islanders at Caps (Updated)

Jose Theodore will start in goal tonight against the NHL-worst Islanders, who will have Joey MacDonald in net but no Mark Streit (groin muscle strain). Milan Jurcina, meantime, will be the odd defenseman out for the Caps, while Donald Brashear (sprained knee) remains sidelined. The rest of Washington's lineup will...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 1, 2009; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (237)
 
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Caps Sign Draft Pick Della Rovere

Stefan Della Rovere, the Caps' seventh round pick in 2008, has signed a three-year entry level contract. The 18-year-old is expected to join South Carolina of the ECHL and could make his debut tonight. A rugged forward with leadership and agitator qualities, Della Rovere won a gold medal with Canada...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 1, 2009; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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George McPhee on Washington Post Live

In case you missed it, here's a video of GMGM's appearance on Washington Post Live yesterday. McPhee talked about the high volume of call-ups from Hershey, locking down that No. 2 seed in the playoffs and more, including a bit of Frozen Four chatter: (Click here if you can't see...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 1, 2009; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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Odds and Ends: Boudreau Zeroing In

Here are some notes from this morning's skate at KCI: Coach Bruce Boudreau didn't reveal his line combinations this morning, but he did reiterate that he intends to use the final six games as a proving ground for his playoff lineup. "We have six games left [and] it's getting closer...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 1, 2009; 12:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Johnson: 'It's Still a Ways Away'

After facing shots for the first time since having surgery on his hip in February, Brent Johnson said he's still hoping to return this season, even if it's in the middle of the first round of the playoffs. "I felt pretty good," Johnson said after about a half hour on...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 1, 2009; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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Jurcina Will Sit Tonight

Based on the morning skate, it looks like defenseman Milan Jurcina will be the odd defenseman out and Jose Theodore will start in goal tonight against the Islanders. I'll have a little more in a bit....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 1, 2009; 10:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Johnson Suits Up

With this morning's pregame skate winding down, goalie Brent Johnson just stepped onto the ice in full pads for the first time since having hip surgery in early February. He's gone down into the butterfly a couple times, and he's facing some soft shots from teammates. He still appears far...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 1, 2009; 10:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Morning Reading List: The Hot Ticket in Town

(John McDonnell - The Washington Post) You've heard about how much success the Capitals have experienced this season on the ice, in television ratings, merchandise sales, etc., and the trend has continued at the Verizon Center box office. Within days, the team may sell out its allotted number of...

By Katie Carrera  |  April 1, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Pothier Nominated for Masterton

Sometimes choosing a nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is tough. This season, however, the choice was easy for the Washington chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. Because if there is anyone who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey," that player is Brian...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 31, 2009; 11:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Brashear on Chirpers: 'I'll Hit When It's Time'

D.C. Sports Bogger Dan Steinberg asked Caps enforcer Donald Brashear how he deals with on-ice trash talk, and the answer was, well, exactly what you'd expect. Here's an excerpt: I asked Brashear whether any of the league's most notorious chirpers had ever gotten under his skin. "Not really," he said....

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 31, 2009; 3:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
 
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Green Set to Play

Here's the latest from KCI: One day after missing practice with the flu, Mike Green was the second to last player off the ice today. He said he's still not 100 percent over his illness but that he's "good enough" to play tomorrow against the Islanders. "I'm a lot better...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 31, 2009; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (88)
 
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Aucoin Recalled and Green Returns (Updated)

With Donald Brashear still recovering from a sprained left knee, the Caps have recalled center Keith Aucoin from Hershey. Brashear is practicing with the team this morning, but he's doubtful for tomorrow's game against the Islanders. Mike Green is also on the ice after missing yesterday's practice with the flu....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 31, 2009; 10:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
 
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Morning Reading List: Injury Update

(Luis M. Alvarez - The Associated Press) The weekend off may not have cured all of the Capitals' ailments. Get caught up to date with today's notebook with updates on Donald Brashear, Mike Green, Boyd Gordon and more. If you haven't already, head over to the D.C. Sports Bog...

By Katie Carrera  |  March 31, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Caps Closing in on Southeast Division

Although the Caps are closing in on a second straight Division title -- any combination of three points won or lost by Carolina will clinch it - Coach Bruce Boudreau said the team's focus is beating out the suddenly struggling New Jersey Devils for the second seed in the Eastern...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 30, 2009; 3:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (146)
 
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Brashear Getting Close

Donald Brashear began practice today on the fourth line and was hoping to be able to last the entire session. But after about 20 minutes, the veteran enforcer knew his knee wasn't quite ready. "It's better," he said this afternoon. "But once we got to the physical stuff, it's not...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 30, 2009; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
 
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Gordon Progressing Slowly

Boyd Gordon had been hoping to return from a broken left forefinger finger before the end of the season. But this morning the checking line forward told me that he's now shooting for the first round of the playoffs. "Sometimes you just need to let things heal," he said. "I...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 30, 2009; 1:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Brashear Still Out; Green Has the Flu

Donald Brashear left practice early and won't be ready to return for Wednesday's game against the Islanders, Coach Bruce Boudreau said. So that means the Caps will have to make a recall. Mike Green, meantime, has come down with the flu that has been running around the room in recent...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 30, 2009; 12:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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Brashear Returns; Green Missing

Left wing Donald Brashear is practicing with his teammates for the first time since suffering a sprained knee in Nashville eight games ago. He's also assigned to a line, which likely means he's ready to return. Star defenseman Mike Green, meantime, has not been on the ice. I'll have to...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 30, 2009; 10:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
 
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Varlamov Recalled

Rookie goalie Simeon Varlamov, as expected, was recalled by the Caps this morning after getting a start in Hershey last night. Varlamov has been told by the Washington coaching staff that he'll get at least two more starts with the Caps before the end of the regular season, and with...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 30, 2009; 9:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Morning Reading List: Giroux Sets Hershey Record

(Luis M. Alvarez -The Associated Press) With the Capitals off for two straight days this weekend, it was a good time to take a look at Oskar Osala, who played in his second NHL game Friday, and where the young forward with a knack for finding the front of...

By Katie Carrera  |  March 30, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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