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Capitals Insider: December 20, 2009 - December 26, 2009

Semin's deal: $6 million

Alexander Semin's one year contract extension is worth $6 million, I'm told. "It's what the player preferred," GM George McPhee said. "We discussed a number of options, but this is the way he wanted to go for now. Which is fine with us because it gives us flexibility going forward."...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 26, 2009; 10:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Semin agrees to one year extension

Winger Alexander Semin has agreed to a one-year contract extension, GM George McPhee confirmed to me moments ago. Semin, who is in the final year of a two-year contract, would have become a restricted free agent July 1. He will become an unrestricted free agent after the extension expires in...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 26, 2009; 8:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (90)
 
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Tonight's lineup: Devils at Caps

Michal Neuvirth will make his third straight start for the Caps tonight at Verizon Center. Martin Brodeur, meantime, will get the nod for the red-hot Devils. Defenseman Tom Poti is scratched with an undisclosed injury, which means Coach Bruce Boudreau has to shuffle his 'D' pairings. The forward combos, though,...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 26, 2009; 6:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
 
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Poti injured, out tonight vs. New Jersey

Defenseman Tom Poti is hurt and won't play tonight against the Devils, Coach Bruce Boudreau said moments ago. Boudreau declined to say what's wrong with Poti or when he was hurt, but he did say that he doesn't believe the injury is serious. "It's a body injury," Boudreau said. "It's...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 26, 2009; 5:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Neuvirth set to start third straight game

Rookie Michal Neuvirth will make his third straight start tonight as the Caps battle the NHL-leading Devils at Verizon Center. It's a breakthrough for Neuvirth, who has won two in a row and is starting to look like the top-notch prospect the Caps consider him to be. But, as you...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 26, 2009; 12:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Varlamov joins Ovechkin, Semin on Russian squad

Three current Caps and three former ones have been named to the Russian national hockey team that will compete in Vancouver, according to the roster posted on IIHF.com. Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin made the 23-man roster. No surprise there. But rookie goalie Semyon Varlamov making the cut was never...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 25, 2009; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
 
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Best Capitals of the 2000s

Everyone seems to enjoy this best-of-the-2000s stuff, so here's our Caps-centric version: Who's the best Caps player of the decade? Okay, and how about the best Capital of the decade not named Alex Ovechkin? Have at it. Note: There are only 11 players on the list, so if anyone's been...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 24, 2009; 3:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
 
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Leonsis: Michael 'owned a generation of sports fans'

Caps Owner Ted Leonsis just sent via email his thoughts on legendary sportscaster George Michael, who died this morning: First minute after the initial press conference announcing that we had bought the Washington Capitals; George Michael walks up to me--slaps me on the back and says... "Let me tell you...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 24, 2009; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Morning roundup: Caps stomp Sabres

(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post) Nicklas Backstrom scored twice, Alex Ovechkin added a goal and two assists and the Caps took a 5-2 victory over Buffalo last night at Verizon Center. Backstrom and the league's top-ranked offense struck just 78 seconds into the game and never trailed. Alex Ovechkin, Mike...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 24, 2009; 10:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Caps 5, Sabres 2

Brendan Morrison scored the goal of the night. But it was Nicklas Backstrom's two-goal effort that had everyone buzzing after the game. Backstrom now has 10 goals in his past 11 games - all on on 33 shots. The 22-year-old Swede also has four multi-goal games, which is three...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 23, 2009; 11:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Tonight's lineup: Sabres at Caps

Michal Neuvirth will be between the pipes tonight for the Caps, who open a three-game homestand against the Sabres at Verizon Center. Ryan Miller, meantime, will be in net for the Sabres. Shaone Morrisonn is set to return from a lower body injury, so the 'D' pairings will be a...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 23, 2009; 6:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (159)
 
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Boudreau on Neuvirth: 'We want to see what he can do'

After watching goalie Michal Neuvirth pick up his first victory of the season with a solid effort Saturday in Edmonton, Coach Bruce Boudreau wants to see more. So the rookie will be back between the pipes tonight against the Ryan Miller and the Northeast Division-leading Sabres. "We just want to...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 23, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
 
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Neuvirth appears set to start vs. Buffalo

Based on the just-concluded morning skate here at KCI, it looks like rookie Michal Neuvirth will start tonight against Ryan Miller and the Sabres at Verizon Center. It also appears that the lines and pairings will look familiar and that Shaone Morrisonn (lower body) will return to the lineup. I'll...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 23, 2009; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Morning roundup: Vague is vogue

(Greg Fiume/Getty Images) The Capitals have embraced the NHL's limited policy on reporting injuries, staying silent when it comes to disclosing injuries such as Alex Ovechkin's shoulder ailment last month: Moments after Ovechkin went down during last month's loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, a team spokesman announced that...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 23, 2009; 5:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Varlamov shows signs of improvement

Alex Ovechkin talking to some pee wees from Ukraine. Former Caps center Dainius Zubrus paid for their trip. I'm in the midst of cranking out a story for tomorrow's paper, but I wanted to give you a quick update on today's happenings at KCI: *Semyon Varlamov is inching toward...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 22, 2009; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
 
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First full practice in days well-attended

The Caps just participated in their first full practice since Thursday, and with Saturday's blizzard forcing schools to remain closed in many areas, an estimated 1,000 fans turned out at Kettler this morning. The Caps had their full complement of players on the top three lines skating, as fans circled...

By Gene Wang  |  December 22, 2009; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Morning roundup: Power play hits a wall (updated)

Since Alex Ovechkin has returned from an injury and suspension, the Caps' power play has struggled, converting on only three of its last 23 man advantages. Coach Bruce Boudreau, who called his team's power play "horrible" after another 0-for-4 performance in Friday's 3-2 loss to Vancouver, thinks the power outage...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 22, 2009; 8:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
 
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Caps happy to be home

There were a lot of happy faces around Kettler Capitals Iceplex today. Players were glad to be back home after a December that saw the Capitals play 13 of their past 17 games on the road. An optional practice was run by assistant coaches Dean Evason and Bob Woods, but...

By Mark Giannotto  |  December 21, 2009; 1:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (91)
 
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Varlamov not quite ready (updated)

It's an optional skate here at Kettler, with Coach Bruce Boudreau and many of the Capitals' stars sitting this one out. The most noticeable absence on the ice, though, is goalie Semyon Varlamov, who is still recovering from a groin injury. The tweak he felt while working out on the...

By Mark Giannotto  |  December 21, 2009; 10:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
 
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Caps 4, Oilers 2

With his team down 2-0, Coach Bruce Boudreau used some choice words to challenge his players after the second period tonight. And Alex Ovechkin wasted little time answering that challenge. In addition to posting two goals and assist in the third period of the Caps' 4-2 victory, the two-time...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 20, 2009; 2:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (230)
 
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