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Capitals Insider: December 6, 2009 - December 12, 2009

Maple Leafs 6, Caps 3

Be honest, who here thought the Caps were going to crush the Leafs after Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom tallied in the opening 5:15? I know I did. The Caps were buzzing around the Toronto net, Vesa Toskala looked shaky and the Toronto crowd was mocking their own goalie...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 12, 2009; 11:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
 
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Tonight's lineup: Caps at Maple Leafs (Updated)

Michal Neuvirth will get his second start of the season tonight at Air Canada Centre, where the Caps are looking to win for the eighth time in nine game. Vesa Toskala, meantime, will get the nod for the improving Leafs. The rest of the Caps' lineup should look like this:...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 12, 2009; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (133)
 
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Caps endure travel problems (updated)

Looking for your morning update? Well, I got to Air Canada Centre ready to provide it. Just one problem: No Caps. No players. No trainers. Nothing, except for a security guard asking me what's up with Washington. Plane problems, that's what's up. After last night's 4-3 OT win over Carolina,...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 12, 2009; 11:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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Caps 4, 'Canes 3 (OT)

Taking two points from the NHL's worst team shouldn't have been so difficult. But thanks to their second straight sluggish start, an unremarkable performance by Jose Theodore and a bad turnover late in regulation by Mike Green, the Caps needed Green to redeem himself in overtime to beat the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 11, 2009; 11:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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Tonight's lineup: Hurricanes at Caps

Jose Theodore will start in goal tonight for the Caps, who are looking to improve to 8-0-0 against the Southeast Division. In net for the 'Canes is Cam Ward, who is making his second start since returning from a lacerated leg. In case you're wondering, there are 25 points separating...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 11, 2009; 6:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (99)
 
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Knuble set to return

Amid all the bad news regarding injuries this morning, there was a positive development for the Caps: Mike Knuble said he's going to return to the lineup after missing a month with a broken finger. Including the Minnesota game (he was hurt in the first period), the Caps went 8-3-2...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 11, 2009; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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Varlamov out a week or longer

Semyon Varlamov's groin muscle strain could sideline him the next five games, Coach Bruce Boudreau conceded this morning. Varlamov was hurt on the last shot of Monday's game in Tampa and has been placed on injured reserve. Technically, he could play Tuesday in Colorado, but Boudreau made it sound like...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 11, 2009; 11:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Pothier out with a rib injury

Defenseman Brian Pothier suffered a rib injury in the second period of Wednesday's loss in Buffalo and could miss anywhere from a week to several weeks, Coach Bruce Boudreau said this morning. "He's hurting and he's sore," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's one of those injuries that I don't know...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 11, 2009; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Theodore to start vs. Carolina

Based on the morning skate, Jose Theodore looks like he'll be the starter tonight at Verizon Center, where the Caps host the 'Canes. He'll be backed up by Michal Neuvirth, who's on the ice getting some extra work right now. Coach Bruce Boudreau said Wednesday that he hoped rookie standout...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 11, 2009; 10:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Pothier, Varlamov still sidelined

Brian Pothier and Semyon Varlamov are not skating this morning at KCI, but it appears that Mike Knuble, Matt Bradley and Mathieu Perreault will be available tonight against Carolina. I'll have more updates after Coach Bruce Boudreau speaks to reporters....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 11, 2009; 10:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Morning roundup: Division dominance

(The Washington Post/Getty Images/AP) The Caps look to move to 8-0-0 in the Southeast Division tonight when they take on the Hurricanes at Verizon Center. The only team that's undefeated against its division, Washington can stretch its lead over Atlanta to 13 points with a win against last-place Carolina....

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 11, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Caps reassign Aucoin, Giroux

The Caps have sent Keith Aucoin and Alexandre Giroux back to the Hershey Bears. That likely means new dad Matt Bradley and Mathieu Perreault, who was feeling under the weather yesterday, are ready to return tomorrow night against Carolina. The team is off today, but Dan Steinberg caught up with...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 10, 2009; 12:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
 
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Morning roundup: Blanked in Buffalo

(Rick Stewart/Getty Images) Two nights after shutting out the Lightning in Tampa Bay, the road-weary Caps got a little taste of their own medicine in a 3-0 defeat to Buffalo. On Monday, the Washington Capitals ascended to first place in the NHL standings for only the second time this...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 10, 2009; 5:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
 
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Sabres 3, Caps 0

After working so hard to get to the top of the NHL standings, the Caps must have decided it was time to take a break. At least that's what the first 40 minutes of tonight's 3-0 loss to Buffalo looked like to me. They didn't play with nearly enough...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 9, 2009; 11:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Tonight's lineup: Caps at Sabres

Jose Theodore will start in goal tonight for the Caps, who are seeking a season-best seventh straight win at HSBC Arena. Ryan Miller is expected to start for the Sabres. Semyon Varlamov (groin), Mathieu Perreault (ill) and Matt Bradley (personal leave) are out and Michal Neuvirth and Keith Aucoin have...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 9, 2009; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (146)
 
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Varlamov out with a groin muscle strain

Let's start with the big news of the day: Semyon Varlamov, as I'm sure you've heard by now, is hurt. The team has officially listed the rookie as day to day with a lower-body injury. But I'm told that he suffered a groin muscle strain on the last shot of...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 9, 2009; 1:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
 
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Varlamov day to day, Caps recall Neuvirth

Goalie Semyon Varlamov, who has a history of lower-body injuries, is hurt again and the Caps are listing him as "day to day." The team has recalled 21-year-old Michal Neuvirth from Hershey. Tarik will have more after the morning skate in Buffalo. Twitter updates: *Bruce Boudreau said he hopes Semyon...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 9, 2009; 10:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
 
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D.C. sports: Best of the decade

D.C. sports bogger Dan Steinberg and sports innovations editor Jon DeNunzio have teamed up to bring us a best-of-the-decade extravaganza. Why? Because people like ranking stuff, I guess. Visit the special section to rank the biggest headline-grabbers (including the Caps signing Jaromir Jagr and Alex Ovechkin's monster contract extension), biggest...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 9, 2009; 10:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Morning roundup: War room and Caps-Sabres

(Mark Blinch for The Washington Post) In today's paper, we take a look behind the scenes at what happens in the NHL's video replay room: TORONTO -- Midway through the first period of a game last month, Washington Capitals winger Chris Clark raced to the Ottawa Senators' net in...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 9, 2009; 5:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Boudreau on Green: 'He's fine'

The Caps just wrapped up an unusually early practice here at an unusually hectic St. Pete Times Forum, which, interestingly, is also going to play host to practices for the Lightning and Oilers later today. Most of the Caps' big-minute guys, such as Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom and...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 8, 2009; 10:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (102)
 
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Morning roundup: Ovechkin vaults Caps into lead

(Chris O'Meara/AP) Alex Ovechkin returned from a two-game suspension and scored two goals to help the Caps blank the Lightning, 3-0, and move into the NHL lead with 44 points. "It's 30 games in, but we want to be there," Ovechkin said. "If you're there, you have to continue...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 8, 2009; 5:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
 
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Caps 3, Lightning 0

After a sluggish first period, Alex Ovechkin and the Caps found their legs and put away the Lightning with a businesslike, 3-0 victory that vaulted them into first place in the NHL standings. Check out my game story here, then come on back for a few notes that didn't...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 8, 2009; 12:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Tonight's lineup: Caps at Lightning

Semyon Varlamov will start in goal tonight for the Caps, who are looking to win their sixth straight game overall and 12th in a row over the Bolts. Mike Smith, meantime, is expected to get the nod for Tampa Bay. Alex Ovechkin is back from a two-game suspension and defenseman...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 7, 2009; 6:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (166)
 
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Video: Ovechkin 'very excited' to return

Tarik chatted up Alex Ovechkin at St. Pete Times Forum, where the Caps' star winger will return to action tonight against the Lightning after serving a two-game suspension. Here's what Ovechkin had to say about his return, his knee and keeping up with his teammates in the stats department: Your...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 7, 2009; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (84)
 
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Ovechkin set to return

Itching to return from a two-game suspension and make up for lost time in the scoring race, Alex Ovechkin went out for the morning skate 10 minutes early at St. Pete Times Forum. Afterward, the two-time MVP confirmed what we all suspected: His right knee is fine and he'll be...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 7, 2009; 1:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Caps assign Alzner to Hershey

Karl Alzner has been reassigned to Hershey, I'm told, and Matt Bradley has gone back to Washington to be with his wife, who is having a baby. I'll have more after the morning skate at St. Pete Times Forum....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 7, 2009; 10:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
 
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Morning roundup: Guess who's back?

(Richard A. Lipski/The Washington Post) I'll give you a hint: It's not Eminem, and it's definitely not Michael Nylander. From Tarik's preview of tonight's game in Tampa: Alex Ovechkin will return from a two-game suspension as the Capitals seek to set a franchise record for consecutive wins against a...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 7, 2009; 5:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Flyers' Carcillo suspended four games

The NHL has suspended Philadelphia's Dan Carcillo four games for his role in a fight Saturday with the Caps' Matt Bradley that earned him 19 penalty minutes and a game misconduct. Carcillo sucker-punched Bradley before the winger had a chance to drop his gloves, sabotaging the Flyers' chances and firing...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 6, 2009; 2:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (104)
 
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Caps 8, Flyers 2

Matt Bradley makes a living sticking up for his teammates. Tonight, his teammates returned the favor in an 8-2 rout at Wachovia Center. After Bradley got dropped by a sucker punch from Daniel Carcillo late in the first period, the Caps' big, bad enforcer, a.k.a the power play, made...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 6, 2009; 12:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (187)
 
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