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Capitals Insider: October 3, 2010 - October 9, 2010

Caps crush Devils, 7-2

Jacquelyn Martin/AP All the passion and effort that was missing from Friday's performance was present tonight, and not surprisingly, the result reflected it. The Caps chased Martin Brodeur from the net and crushed the Devils in a penalty-filled, 7-2 victory on opening night on F Street. Check out my story...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 9, 2010; 11:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  New Jersey Devils  
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Alex Ovechkin: 'It was a pretty big step for us tonight'

John McDonnell/The Washington Post Alex Ovechkin continued his streak of a goal in every home opener, tallying two against Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils tonight (one on a penalty shot) to bring his total to 10 goals and two assists in six games. "I've had a couple of...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 9, 2010; 10:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, New Jersey Devils  
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Capitals rout Devils, 7-2, in wild home opener

John McDonnell/The Washington Post Two goals by Alex Ovechkin -- one on a penalty shot -- and a fight-filled third period were just some of the highlights in Washington's dominant, 7-2 victory over New Jersey at Verizon Center. John Carlson, Tomas Fleischmann, Jason Chimera, Brooks Laich and Eric Fehr also...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 9, 2010; 9:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  New Jersey Devils  
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Open thread: Caps vs. Devils

The Caps look to rebound from last night's loss when they host the New Jersey Devils at Verizon Center. Feel free to chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation on Twitter and see your Caps tweets here with #capswp. new TWTR.Widget({ version: 2, type: 'search',...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 9, 2010; 6:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (164)
Categories:  New Jersey Devils  
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Tonight's lineup: Devils at Caps

Michal Neuvirth will start in net tonight as the Caps seek to win their ninth straight home opener. Martin Brodeur, meanwhile, will get the nod for the Devils. In the aftermath of Washington's 4-2 loss in Atlanta on Friday, Coach Bruce Boudreau has tweaked his lineup for the Devils, who...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 9, 2010; 5:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, New Jersey Devils  
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Bruce Boudreau 'pretty disappointed' with Friday's effort

Coach Bruce Boudreau was in foul mood after the Caps self-destructed Friday in Atlanta. He was even grumpier this morning after reviewing video of his team's sloppy 4-2 defeat at Philips Arena. "I'm still pretty disappointed in the way we played last night," he said. "But then I have to...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 9, 2010; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  Atlanta Thrashers, Bruce Boudreau, Marcus Johansson, New Jersey Devils  
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Michal Neuvirth appears set to start tonight

One night after the Caps' season-opening loss in Atlanta, it looks like goalie Michal Neuvirth will get his second straight start in tonight's home opener against the Devils. "He played good," a grumpy Coach Bruce Boudreau said this morning. "Sometimes you play good and you don't get rewarded. Your save...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | October 9, 2010; 10:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth  
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Caps open the season with a 4-2 loss to Atlanta

One of the bright spots for the Capitals in an ugly -- and admittedly strange -- 4-2 loss to Atlanta was the play of goaltender Michal Neuvirth. He stopped 27 of 31 shots he faced, but of the four goals allowed, two came on deflections. The Thrashers' second tally was...

By Katie Carrera  | October 8, 2010; 11:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Atlanta Thrashers, Michal Neuvirth  
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Atlanta goaltender Ondrej Pavelec collapses during first period

Atlanta goaltender Ondrej Pavelec collapsed and according to a note from the Thrashers lost consciousness early in the first period of Friday night's season opener against the Washington Capitals. With the play in Washington's end, Pavelec fell backward on to the ice and although it's unclear exactly what happened at...

By Katie Carrera  | October 8, 2010; 8:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (148)
Categories:  Atlanta Thrashers  
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Tonight's lineup: Caps at Thrashers

Michal Neuvirth gets the start in goal to open the 2010-11 season and will be opposed by Atlanta's Ondrej Pavelec, who is 1-7 against Washington all time. Based on warm-up here is the lineup for tonight's season opener. Forwards Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble Laich-Fleischmann-Semin Chimera-Johansson-Fehr Hendricks-Steckel-Bradley Defense Schultz-Green Poti-Carlson Erskine-Alzner Goal Neuvirth Sabourin...

By Katie Carrera  | October 8, 2010; 7:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (92)
Categories:  Atlanta Thrashers, Lineups  
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Bruce Boudreau talks defensive pairings

For the first few weeks of training camp, Coach Bruce Boudreau talked about the possibility of playing John Carlson and Karl Alzner together as they often did in Hershey. But in recent days Boudreau changed his mind, opting to not unite the young defensemen as a pairing, at least for...

By Katie Carrera  | October 8, 2010; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
Categories:  Atlanta Thrashers, John Carlson, John Erskine, Karl Alzner, Tom Poti  
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Capitals mean business in 2010-11

For five months since their surprising exit in the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring, the Capitals have anxiously awaited the opportunity to play another game -- and beat someone again. Tonight against the Thrashers, they will have that chance. But as Washington begins a new season it hopes to do...

By Katie Carrera  | October 8, 2010; 7:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (105)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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Video: Ovechkin shoots...and scores! But how?

How does Capitals star Alex Ovechkin score so many goals? Canadian professor and author of "The Physics of Hockey" Alain Hache reveals the science of a slap shot, and what gives Ovechkin his edge. Watch the video now, and be sure to check out the full-page print graphic in...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 7, 2010; 9:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin  
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On Leadership: Ted Leonsis talks Caps

Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis participated in The Post's On Leadership series to talk about why he believed D.C. could be a hockey town, what it's like to own two of the city's most "public" private companies and the importance of transparency. Watch below: On the team's recent success...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 7, 2010; 2:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (79)
Categories:  Ted Leonsis  
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Boudreau: Michal Neuvirth could play first three games

Semyon Varlamov told CSN's Corey Masisak that it is a groin injury that has sidelined him for the past week and a half and was why the Capitals ultimately chose to put the goaltender on injured reserve for the start of the season. Varlamov only rejoined his teammates in practice...

By Katie Carrera  | October 7, 2010; 12:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov  
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As season opens, Caps keep a long-term focus

While other teams turn to veteran free agents to fill roster holes, the Washington Capitals have protected the integrity of their salary cap by making a commitment to young talent. "We're starting Friday night with 11 of our own first-round picks in the lineup," General Manager George McPhee said. "The...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 7, 2010; 9:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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George McPhee on Caps' youth movement

Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee appeared on The John Thompson Show this afternoon and discussed a wide variety of topics. Some highlights: On the franchise's philosophy about reloading through the minor league system: "Anything that we really need to add to the team I thought we already had in...

By Gene Wang  | October 6, 2010; 3:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (129)
Categories:  Alexander Semin, George McPhee, Mike Green  
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A little birthday surprise for Marcus Johansson

Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom were peering around a door connecting the Capitals' locker room to a players-only area on the other side, looking mischievously in the area where rookie center Marcus Johansson shortly would be speaking to the media following the team's morning practice at KCI. Indications were they...

By Gene Wang  | October 6, 2010; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Andrew Gordon, Marcus Johansson  
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Capitals place Semyon Varlamov on injured reserve (updated)

UPDATE: The Capitals announced Varlamov has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to his last appearance of the preseason on Sept. 22 and is eligible to be activated at any time. With the season opener two days away, the most pressing issue facing the Washington Capitals is the status of...

By Gene Wang  | October 6, 2010; 1:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov  
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Will Eric Fehr have another breakout season?

Last season the Washington Capitals scored an impressive 313 goals with seven different 20-goal scorers, including Eric Fehr, who set career highs in goals (21), assists (18) and points (39). His 1.48 goals per sixty minutes of ice time during five on five was more than both $100 million winger...

By Neil Greenberg  | October 6, 2010; 11:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Eric Fehr, Statistical analysis  
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Marcus Johansson is 'only going to get better'

In addition to echoing praise of Marcus Johansson given by Coach Bruce Boudreau and GM George McPhee, a few of the Capitals' veteran players expressed a particular sentiment about their now 20-year-old teammate who earned a spot on the opening night roster. "He looks like little mini Backie when he's...

By Katie Carrera  | October 6, 2010; 10:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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Matt Hendricks 'very appreciative' to find a home with Caps

Matt Hendricks took a risk when he joined Capitals training camp on a professional tryout, hoping to impress enough to not only rejoin his former organization and former Coach Bruce Boudreau but build on his first full season in the NHL from last year. But it paid off. With his...

By Katie Carrera  | October 5, 2010; 2:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (109)
Categories:  Matt Hendricks  
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Boudreau: Johansson has 'more defensive upside' than Perreault

While the Capitals spoke at length on their Stanley Cup aspirations during media day this afternoon at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, there was a brief interlude to the optimism accompanying a fresh start when the topic of conversation turned to cuts. Earlier this morning, the club had announced the assignment of...

By Gene Wang  | October 5, 2010; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  George McPhee, Marcus Johansson, Mathieu Perreault, Matt Hendricks  
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Jay Beagle, Andrew Gordon and Mathieu Perreault assigned to Hershey

The Capitals have reassigned forwards Jay Beagle, Andrew Gordon and Mathieu Perreault to Hershey. Of the three, only Gordon must clear waivers at noon Wednesday in order to join the Bears. Marcus Johansson, Matt Hendricks along with Brian Fahey and Dany Sabourin are all out on the ice for practice...

By Katie Carrera  | October 5, 2010; 10:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (154)
Categories:  Andrew Gordon, Dany Sabourin, Jay Beagle, John Carlson, Marcus Johansson, Mathieu Perreault, Matt Hendricks, Semyon Varlamov  
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Caps roster cuts around the corner

On the eve of the NHL's roster cut-down deadline, don't be surprised if the Capitals make some of their decisions and re-assignment moves today. Of the forwards still fighting for those open positions, Andrew Gordon and Matt Hendricks would need to clear waivers if they were assigned to Hershey. "It's...

By Katie Carrera  | October 5, 2010; 9:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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Caps sign Philipp Grubauer to entry-level deal

The Caps signed fourth-round draft pick Philipp Grubauer to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced today. Grabauer, a goalie with the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs, has a 2-2-0 record with a 2.75 goals against average and .924 save percentage in four games this season. Last season, he led the OHL's...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 4, 2010; 4:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
Categories:  Philipp Grubauer  
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The home stretch of training camp

Following a wake-up call from the Predators on Sunday, the Capitals were even more focused on getting to the regular season and moving on to games that count. "I think as a group we just want the real stuff to start," Tom Poti said. "The preseason really doesn't mean much....

By Katie Carrera  | October 4, 2010; 9:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (181)
Categories:  Andrew Gordon, Jay Beagle, Jeff Schultz, John Carlson, John Erskine, Karl Alzner, Marcus Johansson, Mathieu Perreault, Matt Hendricks, Michal Neuvirth, Mike Green, Morning Roundup, Semyon Varlamov, Tom Poti, Tomas Fleischmann, Tyler Sloan  
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Predators 3, Capitals 0

While exhibition games don't mean much in the long run, this wasn't the way the Capitals wanted to end the preseason. They looked sloppy against Nashville's full lineup and a Predators team that was focused on the task at hand unlike some of the other opponents Washington faced in the...

By Katie Carrera  | October 3, 2010; 5:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Eric Fehr, Jason Chimera, Mathieu Perreault, Michal Neuvirth, Nashville Predators  
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Today's lineup: Predators at Caps

Based on warmups, here are the line combinations and defensive pairings for this afternoon's tilt against the Predators. Forwards Ovechkin-Perreault-Knuble Laich-Fleischmann-Semin Chimera-B. Gordon-Fehr King-Steckel-Bradley Defenseman Schultz-Green Poti-Alzner Erskine-Fahey Goal Neuvirth Sabourin...

By Katie Carrera  | October 3, 2010; 12:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Lineups, Nashville Predators  
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Backstrom out against Predators, Neuvirth to start

Nicklas Backstrom won't play in Sunday's matinee contest against the Nashville Predators because the Capitals center is sporting 14 stitches in his leg after the puck went through his shin pad when he was blocking a shot against Columbus on Friday. Backstrom blocked two shots in Friday's game, one at...

By Katie Carrera  | October 3, 2010; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Nashville Predators, Nicklas Backstrom  
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