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Capitals Insider: April 4, 2010 - April 10, 2010

Caps have plenty left to accomplish

The Caps went through a quick practice this morning at KCI, but there's still plenty to talk about. First, some injury news. Tyler Sloan, as we suspected, did suffer an injury last night. Coach Bruce Boudreau would only say that the defenseman, who did not practice, has an upper-body ailment....

By Tarik El-Bashir  | April 10, 2010; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (218)
Tags:  Alexander Semin, Brandon Dubinsky, Brendan Morrison, Greg Moore, Jason Chimera, Mike Knuble, National Hockey League, Nicklas Bäckström  
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Backstrom on 100th point

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom recorded his 100th point of the season, appropriately on an assist to Alex Ovechkin for his 50th goal. The duo became the first in Capitals history each to record 100 points in the same season as Washington, with a 5-2 win against Atlanta, became the first...

By Gene Wang  | April 10, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
 
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Ovechkin hits 50, Backstrom gets 100

What a night at Verizon Center. First, the Caps were presented with the franchise's first Presidents' Trophy. Then he revamped top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin put on a show not seen at Verizon Center since, well, probably the last time the team's three most skilled...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | April 10, 2010; 12:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Tags:  Henrik Sedin, Jose Theodore, Matt Bradley, Mike Knuble, Presidents' Trophy, Quintin Laing, Sidney Crosby, Washington Capitals  
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Boudreau on Ovechkin's 50th goal

Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau was liberal with the praise following a 5-2 victory over Atlanta tonight, especially for star players Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Here's some of what he had to say about Ovechkin during his postgame news conference:...

By Gene Wang  | April 9, 2010; 10:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Theodore continues strong play

Goalie Jose Theodore stopped 29 of 31 shots in the Capitals 5-2 victory over Atlanta tonight, and he talked about getting a front row seat for the play that gave Alex Ovechkin his 50th goal and Nicklas Backstrom his 100th point. Theodore is 20-0-3 since Jan. 13, and his 23...

By Gene Wang  | April 9, 2010; 10:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Ovechkin and No. 50

Alex Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season at 9 minutes 49 seconds of the third period in a 5-2 victory over Atlanta and took over the league lead from the Penguins' Sidney Crosby, who has 49. Ovechkin also leads the league with 109 points, one more than Vancouver's...

By Gene Wang  | April 9, 2010; 10:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Ovechkin, Backstrom share spotlight, puck

Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have provided most of the offensive punch on a team that has plenty, so it was only fitting each reached a milestone on the same goal. Ovechkin scored his 50th of the season in the third period on an assist from Backstrom, who recorded his...

By Gene Wang  | April 9, 2010; 10:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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In-game chat: Caps vs. Thrashers

Post reporter Gene Wang will chat live from Verizon Center as the Caps look to complete a season sweep of Atlanta at 7 p.m. Tonight's lineup: Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin Laich-Morrison-Fehr Chimera-Belanger-Fleischmann Laing-Gordon-Walker Schultz-Green Morrisonn-Corvo Sloan-Carlson Ondrej Pavelec will start for the Thrashers. Caps vs. Thrashers...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | April 9, 2010; 3:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
 
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Theodore set to start vs. Atlanta

Jose Theodore will start in net tonight against the Thrashers as the Caps go for their fifth straight win overall and a season sweep of their division rival. Tonight's lineup will have a different look as Coach Bruce Boudreau rests some of his veteran players. Based on the morning skate,...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | April 9, 2010; 12:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
 
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Who's between the pipes?

Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau has not yet named a No. 1 goaltender for the playoffs, and there's a chance he never will. While Boudreau says he simply is "still evaluating," the prevailing sentiment is that he perhaps thinks Washington needs both Jose Theodore and Semyon Varlamov to win a...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | April 9, 2010; 9:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
 
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Caps playoff scenarios

With nothing but pride on the line in these last two regular season games, many on the top-seeded Washington Capitals have turned their attention to their first-round opponent and the chase for the Eastern Conference's 8th playoff spot. If you haven't noticed (and I'm guessing you have), there's a logjam...

By Mark Giannotto  | April 8, 2010; 4:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (117)
 
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Knuble, Steckel and Bradley may get some rest

It was a relatively light practice at Kettler this morning - about 30 minutes of organized drills. But here's some notes from the post-practice chatter: *Whoever guessed those quirky lines that I posted earlier were just an indication of what players will get a rest when the Capitals take on...

By Mark Giannotto  | April 8, 2010; 3:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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As playoffs approach, Caps nearing full strength

Every Washington Capital aside from defenseman Milan Jurcina took the ice to cheers from a larger-than-usual crowd here at Kettler Capitals Iceplex this morning, yet another sign that the team is nearing full health with the playoffs just a week away. Now attention turns to just what the lineup will...

By Mark Giannotto  | April 8, 2010; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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Theodore nominated for Masterton Trophy

Jose Theodore has been tapped as the Capitals' Bill Masterton Trophy nominee by the Washington Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. Theodore, who lost his two month old son in August because of respiratory complications related to a premature birth, has been one of the team's best players in...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | April 8, 2010; 10:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Ovechkin still has something to play for

(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post) Here's a short roundup of Caps-related reading material to get the day started: * Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau is considering resting his stars before the playoffs, but with individual scoring titles at stake, Alex Ovechkin will have the choice to sit or not. | Full...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | April 8, 2010; 5:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Alzner and Beagle assigned to Hershey

With the Caps expecting to return to full strength tomorrow, the team sent down callups Karl Alzner and Jay Beagle today. Coach Bruce Boudreau told me earlier that he expects all of the injured players -- with the exception of Milan Jurcina -- to be on the ice when the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | April 7, 2010; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
 
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Ovechkin, Caps take care of Pens -- again

(Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) Here's a short roundup of Caps-related reading material to get the day started: *Alex Ovechkin scores twice -- the second into an empty net -- as Washington earns a season sweep over its bitter rival for the first time in team history. | Full story...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | April 7, 2010; 5:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
 
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Ovechkin catches Crosby

The Caps swept the Penguins for the first time in franchise history with a 6-3 win at Mellon Arena. But tonight was as much about personal milestones as it was about team achievement. Alex Ovechkin scored twice in the third period (including his league leading fifth into an empty net)...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | April 7, 2010; 12:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Tags:  Games, Jay Beagle, Jeff Schultz, John Erskine, Marc Andre Fleury, Marc-André Fleury, Mike Green, Steven Stamkos  
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Tonight's lineup: Caps at Penguins (updated)

Semyon Varlamov will indeed start tonight for the Caps tonight and will oppose Marc Andre-Fleury at Mellon Arena. Because of injuries, there are some changes to Washington's lineup. No. 1 defenseman Mike Green will miss his second straight game with a minor ailment. Eric Belanger did not take warmups and...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | April 6, 2010; 6:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (436)
 
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Varlamov set to start in 'Devil's Den'

Semyon Varlamov appears set to start in goal tonight at Mellon Arena as the Caps look to extend their winning streak to four games - and sweep the Pens for the first time in franchise history. Coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn't confirm his lineup, but I'm hearing Mike Green will miss...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | April 6, 2010; 1:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (106)
 
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Caps recall Alzner, Beagle

Defenseman Karl Alzner and forward Jay Beagle have been recalled from the Bears and are here in Pittsburgh ahead of tonight's game at Mellon Arena. No reason was given for the moves in the team's release, but Coach Bruce Boudreau mentioned after last night's 3-2 OT win over Boston that...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | April 6, 2010; 11:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
 
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Theodore 'real good' in OT win

After a ridiculously long day that included writing a playoff preview and trying to rescue a laptop decimated by a nasty virus, I've got to be brief tonight. Check out my game story (it's got some good quotes), then come back for some video and a few notes:...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | April 5, 2010; 11:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Tonight's lineup: Bruins at Caps

Jose Theodore is set to start in goal and will face Tuukka Rask as the Caps host Boston in game No. 79. Rask leads the NHL in both goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.931). Coach Bruce Boudreau said he might rest some of his star players down the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | April 5, 2010; 6:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (290)
 
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Boudreau on Caps winning Presidents' Trophy: 'Celebration's over'

It was another morning and another milestone here during Monday's pregame skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. As has already been noted on this blog, Washington captured the first Presidents' Trophy in franchise history after San Jose's 5-4 overtime loss to Colorado Sunday night. The Capitals will now have home-ice advantage...

By Mark Giannotto  | April 5, 2010; 1:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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Caps React to Umberger's comments

As Tarik noted following Washington's 3-2 victory Saturday night over the Blue Jackets, Columbus forward R.J. Umberger caused quite a stir with his postgame critique of the NHL's best regular-season team this year. On top of the familiar refrain that their freewheeling style would mean "a good defensive team is...

By Mark Giannotto  | April 5, 2010; 12:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
 
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Morrison, Gordon, Carlson, Walker practice

All 25 Capitals on the active roster just took the ice here at Kettler for their morning skate ahead of tonight's matchup against Boston, a refreshing sign for a team whose lone goal the rest of the regular season is to make sure everybody is healthy when the postseason begins...

By Mark Giannotto  | April 5, 2010; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
 
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Caps complete regular-season trifecta

(Illustration by Jon Wile/The Washington Post) Here's a short roundup of Caps-related reading material to get the day started: *Southeast Division? Check. Eastern Conference? Check. Presidents' Trophy? Check. *Mike Green is putting on a late-season push to earn the title of top defenseman in the NHL, a bid supported...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | April 5, 2010; 5:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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Caps claim first Presidents' Trophy

Southeast Division? Check. Eastern Conference? Check. Presidents' Trophy? Check. The Caps clinched their first No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs -- and home ice through the Stanley Cup finals -- thanks to the Sharks' 5-4 OT loss in Colorado tonight. Now, there's only one thing left for Alex Ovechkin...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | April 4, 2010; 10:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
 
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