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Capitals Insider: November 29, 2009 - December 5, 2009

Tonight's lineup: Caps at Flyers

Jose Theodore will start in goal tonight as the Caps seek their fifth straight win. Ray Emery, meanwhile, will get the nod for the Flyers in Peter Laviolette's debut behind the Philly bench. Alex Ovechkin will miss the second of his two game suspension and Tom Poti will return from...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 5, 2009; 6:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (340)
 
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Poti set to return; Theodore to start (updated)

Slowly but surely, the Caps are returning to full strength. Defenseman Tom Poti is set to return from a six-game absence tonight at Wachovia Center. Alex Ovechkin will be back from a two-game suspension Monday. Mike Knuble could return Wednesday from a 10-game layoff. And defenseman Shaone Morrisonn might return...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 5, 2009; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (108)
 
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Clark on Ovie's absence: 'We can work around it'

The mood was bright in the Capitals' locker room at KCI this morning as the team basked in the glow of perhaps its most dominating performance of the season last night in a 6-2 victory over Florida. The team had a relatively short practice and in a short while will...

By Mark Giannotto  |  December 4, 2009; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
 
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Quick practice update

There was a familiar face on the ice this morning. Forward Quintin Laing skated in an orange jersey with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish before practice began. Defensemen Shaone Morrisonn and Tom Poti were also both on the ice for drills. And just like yesterday's morning skate, forwards Alex...

By Mark Giannotto  |  December 4, 2009; 1:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Caps 6, Panthers 2

The Caps were due for a blowout - and thanks to Alexander Semin, that's exactly what they got tonight at Verizon Center, where they pounded the weary and overmatched Panthers, 6-2. Check out my game story here, which pretty much covers the Caps' easiest win of the season. Then...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 3, 2009; 11:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (147)
 
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Live game chat: Caps vs. Panthers

Just for something different, we're bringing back the live game chat for a night. When the Caps face off against the Panthers, feel free to join the conversation by signing in with your Facebook or Twitter account. You can also log in with a MySpace account, but really, who uses...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 3, 2009; 6:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
 
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Tonight's lineup: Panthers at Caps

Semyon Varlamov will return to the net tonight as the Caps look to win their fourth game in a row and improve to 6-0-0 vs. the Southeast Division. Scott Clemmensen, meantime, will start for the Panthers. Alex Ovechkin will serve the first of a two-game suspension tonight, but the other...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 3, 2009; 6:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Varlamov appears set to start vs. Florida

Semyon Varlamov came off the ice first this morning at KCI, which likely means he'll be between the pipes at Verizon Center against the Panthers as the Caps go for their fourth straight win. Alex Ovechkin, meantime, participated fully for the second straight day and even skated hard with the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 3, 2009; 12:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (103)
 
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McPhee: Two-game suspension 'excessive'

George McPhee was a guest on DC101's Elliot in the Morning today, and the Caps' GM made it clear that he respectfully disagrees with the NHL's decision to suspend Alex Ovechkin for two games. "It was a five-minute major, we had to kill off a five-minute penalty, and we lost...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 3, 2009; 11:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
 
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Morning roundup: Ovechkin 'not going to change'

(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Alex Ovechkin was unusually subdued (video here) a day after receiving a two-game suspension, but he assured reporters that his on-ice demeanor won't change one bit: "I'm not going to change anything," the Washington Capitals' star winger said, addressing the media for the first time since...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 3, 2009; 5:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (104)
 
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Ovechkin 'angry' about suspension

Alex Ovechkin says his two-game suspension for a knee-on-knee hit won't make him change the way he plays; rather, it's only fired up the Caps' star winger. Here's a post-practice video: Your Browser DoesNot Support IFrames....

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 2, 2009; 1:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (274)
 
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Ovechkin skates, new lines

With Ovechkin out of the lineup, Coach Bruce Boudreau has adjusted his forward lines. Here's what they look like at the moment: Laich-Backstrom-Semin Fleischmann-Morrison-Fehr Giroux-Perreault-Clark Sloan-Steckel-Bradley Wearing orange jerseys are: Ovechkin-Beagle-Knuble The only defenseman not skating is Shaone Morrisonn, who is taking a few days off from practice as...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 2, 2009; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
 
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Ovechkin on the ice at practice

Alex Ovechkin, who is battling a sore right knee, was among the first Caps on the ice for practice this morning. He's not assigned to a forward line, however. Instead, he's wearing an orange jersey, which means "no contact." I'll hope to have some video soon....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 2, 2009; 10:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Morning roundup: NHL hits back

The morning roundup is officially, entirely back from vacation. Rejoice! Alex Ovechkin: reckless, both on the ice and in the hair salon. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Alex Ovechkin was suspended two games for a controversial hit -- a knee-on-knee collision with Tim Gleason -- that has him nursing a right knee...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 2, 2009; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Ovechkin suspended two games

The NHL has suspended Alex Ovechkin two games for his knee-on-knee hit on Carolina's Tim Gleason on Monday night, I have been told. The suspension, which is without pay, is the first of Ovechkin's career and means he'll miss Thursday's game against Florida and Saturday's game in Philadelphia. He will...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 1, 2009; 4:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (237)
 
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Boudreau on Ovechkin: 'He's pretty reckless'

Bruce Boudreau said he plans to talk to Alex Ovechkin about playing "pretty reckless" and perhaps even toning down his aggressiveness. Moment later, though, the coach said he doubts such a conversation would have any effect on his star player. Here's the majority of Boudreau's press conference after this morning's...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 1, 2009; 1:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (105)
 
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Ovechkin 'day to day' with sore knee

Update from the Caps: "Alex Ovechkin is day-to-day with a sore knee. He skated briefly on his own before practice today." Alex Ovechkin spoke (very softly) to the media at Kettler Capitals Iceplex after skating for about five minutes this morning. He said his right knee is "not that sore"...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 1, 2009; 12:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Poll: Should Ovechkin tone it down?

Alex Ovechkin's knee-on-knee hit on Carolina's Tim Gleason last night sent both players to the dressing room and got the Caps' star winger ejected for the second time in five days. The NHL hasn't taken any disciplinary actions yet, but because this isn't the first time Ovechkin has avoided...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 1, 2009; 11:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
 
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Semin, Poti return to practice

Alexander Semin, who has missed the past seven games with a wrist injury, has returned to practice and is skating on the Alex Ovechkin-less top line this morning. Semin is shooting and passing and appears to be participating fully. Tom Poti, who has missed five games with a bruised chest,...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 1, 2009; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Ovechkin skates briefly

Alex Ovechkin skated for about five minutes here wearing a red track suit this morning. The two-time MVP took some strides, handled the puck a couple of times, then left the ice prior to the team practice, I'm told. Ovechkin suffered what appeared to be a right knee injury in...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 1, 2009; 10:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
 
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Caps 3, 'Canes 2

The primary storyline tonight, of course, was Alex Ovechkin. But right now there are more questions than answers. So let's talk about some of Ovechkin's teammates, specifically Jose Theodore, Nicklas Backstrom and Eric Fehr, each of whom played a huge role in the Caps' 3-2 win at RBC Center....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 30, 2009; 11:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (151)
 
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Ovechkin: 'No comment'

I caught up to Alex Ovechkin before he boarded the team bus following tonight's 3-2 win in Raleigh, but the star winger would only say "no comment" when I inquired about his knee and the first period hit that resulted in his ejection. I did, however, get to observe him...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 30, 2009; 10:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (104)
 
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McPhee: 'There's nothing we can say tonight'

Alex Ovechkin is not expected to receive an MRI on his injured right knee tonight, George McPhee said after the second period. The Caps GM added that Ovechkin is icing his knee at the moment and will be examined tomorrow when the Caps return to Washington by team doctor Ben...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 30, 2009; 8:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (94)
 
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Ovechkin ejected again, suffers knee injury (updated)

For the second time in three games, Alex Ovechkin has been tossed from a game. This time, he was assessed a five minute kneeing major and a game misconduct for a knee-on-knee collision with Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason in the Hurricanes' zone early in the first period. Ovechkin also appears...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 30, 2009; 7:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (196)
 
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Tonight's lineup: Caps at 'Canes

Jose Theodore will make his first start in more than two weeks tonight at RBC Center, where the Caps will look to extend their winning streak to three. Michael Leighton, meantime, will be in net for the 'Canes. Looks like Jay Beagle is out and Tyler Sloan, who just returned...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 30, 2009; 6:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
 
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Theodore appears set to start in Carolina

Coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn't announce his goalie for tonight's game against the 'Canes, but based on the morning skate, it looks like Jose Theodore is going to get his first start in seven games. Semyon Varlamov is hot, but Boudreau doesn't like his goalies to sit for too long. It...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 30, 2009; 12:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Morning roundup: Steckel still waiting to score

Working through the post-Thanksgiving turkey coma to bring you some light reading material... (John McDonnell/The Washington Post) David Steckel's last goal came nearly seven months ago, and while the Caps forward is excelling at the other end of the rink, the pressure is mounting for him to get on the...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 30, 2009; 10:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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