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Capitals Insider: October 11, 2009 - October 17, 2009

Caps 3, Predators 2 (SO)

It wasn't pretty by any means, but the Caps found a way to pull out a 3-2 shootout win over the struggling Predators tonight thanks to a standout performance from Alex Ovechkin and the resilience of young goalie Seymon Varlamov. After checking out my game story here, come back...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 17, 2009; 11:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (160)
 
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Tonight's Lineup: Predators at Caps

Semyon Varlamov will make his first start in five games tonight and is expected to oppose Nashville's Dan Ellis. The defense in front of Varlamov, meantime, will be a little shorthanded. Shaone Morrisonn is out with a lower body injury, Coach Bruce Boudreau revealed moments ago. So it appears that...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 17, 2009; 5:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (120)
 
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Varlamov to Start Tonight

Semyon Varlamov, as expected, will get the nod tonight when the Caps host the slumping Predators. Varlamov is looking to shake off a couple of shaky starts, while Coach Bruce Boudreau said he'll be looking to see how the young goalie reacts to adversity. "I would like to see when...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 17, 2009; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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Theodore: 'It Was Just a Sharp, Sharp Pain'

Jose Theodore did not practice today and won't suit up tomorrow, but the goalie told me moments ago that he hopes to be back on the ice early next week and perhaps suit up for Thursday's game in Atlanta. Theodore said he first experienced some stiffness/pain in his lower back...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 16, 2009; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
 
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Theodore, Gordon Missing at KCI

Practice just began here at KCI and goalie Jose Theodore and center Boyd Gordon are not skating. Theodore is suffering from back spasms, which flared up last night in the first period after he reached for a loose puck. Theodore's status for tomorrow's game is uncertain, but given that he's...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 16, 2009; 10:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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Morning Roundup: Back in the Win Column

(Richard A. Lipski - The Post) [Apologies for a two-day absence of the Morning Roundup. It (and I) have been dealing with the flu. But we're back, and today's roundup should keep you occupied and unproductive through mid-morning.] Alex Ovechkin struck twice in a span of 28 seconds --...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 16, 2009; 8:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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Caps 4, Sharks 1

Not only did the Caps snap four-game losing streak with their 4-1 victory over the Sharks tonight, they also ended a decade-long drought against San Jose, which had won the previous 11 meetings, including six straight in D.C. But the big news at Verizon Center was Jose Theodore's injury. GM...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 16, 2009; 12:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Theodore Day-to-Day

Goaltender Jose Theodore is day-to-day with back spasms, George McPhee said moments ago. The GM also said he doesn't expect to make a decision on whether to recall a goalie from the minors until tomorrow or Saturday....

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 15, 2009; 9:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Caps Top Sharks to Snap Four-Game Skid

Alex Ovechkin scored back-to-back goals 28 seconds apart to lead the Caps to a 4-1 victory over the Sharks at Verizon Center, snapping a four-game losing streak. Alexander Semin and Matt Bradley also tallied in the win, which ended another skid: the Caps' 11-game losing streak against San Jose dating...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 15, 2009; 9:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Gordon Sidelined Tonight

Fourth-line center Boyd Gordon (sore back) won't suit up tonight against the Sharks, Coach Bruce Boudreau said. He'll be replaced in the lineup by Keith Aucoin, who was called up earlier today just in case. Aucoin will center the third line, while David Steckel will drop to the fourth line....

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 15, 2009; 5:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
 
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Tonight's Lineup: Sharks at Caps

The Caps seek to avoid losing five games in a row for the first time under Coach Bruce Boudreau tonight when they host the Sharks, a team they haven't defeated since 1999, a span of 11 games. Jose Theodore is expected to be the starter and will likely oppose Evgeni...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 15, 2009; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Theodore Expected to Start Against Sharks

Coach Bruce Boudreau said the Caps have a couple of players who are "banged up" and that's why the team recalled Keith Aucoin from Hershey today. Whether Aucoin will suit up tonight as the Caps attempt to snap an 11-game losing streak vs. the Sharks, however, remains to be seen....

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 15, 2009; 11:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
 
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Aucoin Recalled, Erskine on IR, Gustafsson on Loan

Center Keith Aucoin has been recalled from Hershey and is on the ice for the morning skate. I have to imagine that he's here just in case Boyd Gordon cannot play. Gordon, however, is on the ice right now. John Erskine, meantime, has been placed on IR with an injured...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 15, 2009; 10:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
 
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Boudreau Is All Business

On a day dedicated to the Capitals' suddenly powerless power play, perhaps the most important thing Coach Bruce Boudreau did during practice this morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex was give his team a stern lecture on effort. After the Caps went through drills for about 25 minutes, Boudreau pulled the...

By Mark Giannotto  | October 14, 2009; 3:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (103)
 
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Erskine Still Out

Tom Poti and Boyd Gordon have returned to practice this morning. But John Erskine, who suffered an upper body injury in the second period Monday, still is not skating with his teammates. The big defenseman skated on his own before practice, but that likely means he's out for tomorrow's game...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 14, 2009; 10:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
 
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Boudreau: 'The Graph Is Going Up'

Although the Caps have lost four in a row, Coach Bruce Boudreau attempted to put a positive spin on the current state of his team after Tuesday's practice, saying, "The graph is going up, it isn't going down." He was referring to the team's most recent setback, a 3-2 shootout...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 13, 2009; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (136)
 
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Erskine, Poti and Gordon Missing From Practice

Practice is underway here at KCI and there are a few players who are not skating. Defensemen John Erskine and Tom Poti and center Boyd Gordon are not on the ice. Erskine, of course, left last night's 3-2 loss to the Devils after getting hurt early in the second period...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 13, 2009; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (80)
 
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Morning Roundup: Caps Come Up Short

One of Jose Theodore's two straight highlight-reel saves in OT. (Toni L. Sandys - The Post) Summing up last night's 3-2 shootout loss to the Devils in short, caveman-style sentences: Goalies good. Capitals okay. Devils better. "Even though we have a fairly veteran team, it's learning how to win...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 13, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Devils 3, Caps 2 (SO)

Jose Theodore was occasionally spectacular in net tonight. The rest of his team? Well, they had occasional struggles against the Devils, who dealt the Caps their fourth straight defeat, 3-2. I outline all of those struggles in my game story, which can be found here. Here's a postgame wrap-up video:...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 12, 2009; 11:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
 
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Devils Slip Past Caps in Shootout

It was more of the same special-teams struggles for the Caps tonight, who failed to take advantage of five power plays (including a 5-on-3) in a 3-2 shootout loss -- their fourth straight defeat -- to the New Jersey Devils at Verizon Center. Jose Theodore was sublime in overtime, making...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 12, 2009; 9:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
 
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Tonight's Lineup: Devils at Caps (Updated)

Jose Theodore will make his third straight start and will oppose Martin Brodeur, who is 33-12-4 with 2.12 goals against average all time vs. the Caps. The rest of the lineup is expected to look like this:...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 12, 2009; 5:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (109)
 
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Boudreau on Theodore: 'Focused on What He Has to Do'

Coach Bruce Boudreau said this morning that he's been impressed with Jose Theodore's focus through the first two weeks of the season. And by giving Theodore a third consecutive start tonight as the Caps try to end a three-game losing streak, it seems Boudreau plans to stick with the veteran...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 12, 2009; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (80)
 
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Theodore to Start Against New Jersey

Jose Theodore will get his third consecutive start tonight against Martin Brodeur and the Devils. Based on the morning skate, the forward lines will look the same and the scratches will be Jeff Schultz, Tyler Sloan and Michael Nylander. *Coach Bruce Boudreau praised Theodore for his overall play this season...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 12, 2009; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
 
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Looking to Rebound at Home

The Caps look to bounce back from a three-game skid when they host the Devils tonight at 7 p.m. Here are a few links to pass the time 'til then: * Starting against New Jersey, the Caps need to find a way to break their worst habit: taking stupid...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 12, 2009; 10:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Leonsis on Loss in Detroit: 'Yuck'

Before Saturday's game, Brooks Laich and Alex Ovechkin spoke frankly about the Caps' discipline issues. After their 3-2 loss at Joe Louis Arena, where they took five minors and surrendered two more power-play goals, Coach Bruce Boudreau fumed about his team's "dumb" penalties. This morning, the man who signs the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 11, 2009; 12:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (108)
 
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Red Wings 3, Caps 2

The Caps put forth a much better all-around effort tonight. Alex Ovechkin seemed to be everywhere while taking nine shots on goal and making 10 hits, and Jose Theodore put together a solid, 34-save performance. But the Caps couldn't stay out of the penalty box, again. And so they lost,...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 11, 2009; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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