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Capitals Insider: October 10, 2010 - October 16, 2010

Caps 3, Predators 2 (OT)

Coach Bruce Boudreau couldn't say whether Michal Neuvirth had played a better game in his brief NHL career than his 37-save performance against the Predators on Saturday night. Regardless, one thing was certain: Neuvirth was the primary reason the Capitals remained within reach of Nashville through the first half of...

By Katie Carrera  | October 16, 2010; 11:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, Nashville Predators, Nicklas Backstrom  
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Open thread: Capitals at Predators

The Washington Capitals (3-1) visit the unbeaten Nashville Predators (3-0) looking for a fourth straight victory with Michal Neuvirth between the pipes. You can chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation on Twitter with beat writer Katie Carrera (@kcarrera). See your tweets below by using...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 16, 2010; 7:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (187)
Categories:  Nashville Predators  
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Tonight's lineup: Caps at Predators

Michal Neuvirth gets his fifth straight start for the Capitals in Nashville and will oppose rookie Anders Lindback. The 6-foot-6 Swede has allowed five goals on 67 shots in his first three NHL games, and tonight's contest marks his third start. Last season, the Predators were 6-0-1 against the Southeast...

By Katie Carrera  | October 16, 2010; 7:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Lineups, Nashville Predators  
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Brian Fahey to make NHL debut against Predators

On Friday afternoon, Brian Fahey got the call that he was needed with the Capitals, hopped in his car for the two-hour drive from Hershey and reached the team charter to Nashville with just 10-15 minutes to spare. The last-minute road trip didn't bother him much, though, because in his...

By Katie Carrera  | October 16, 2010; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Brian Fahey, Nashville Predators  
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Michal Neuvirth to make fifth straight start

Michal Neuvirth was the first goaltender off the ice from this morning's session at Bridgestone Arena and it appears he will get his fifth straight start for the Capitals tonight against the undefeated Predators (3-0). Mike Green (upper-body injury), Tom Poti and Matt Bradley (both lower-body injuries) did not make...

By Katie Carrera  | October 16, 2010; 2:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Injuries, Matt Bradley, Michal Neuvirth, Mike Green, Nashville Predators, Tom Poti  
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Capitals recall Brian Fahey

Defenseman Brian Fahey has been recalled from Hershey, which likely means both Mike Green and Tom Poti will miss Saturday night's game in Nashville. I'll have more from the Capitals' morning skate at Bridgestone Arena....

By Katie Carrera  | October 16, 2010; 10:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Brian Fahey, Nashville Predators  
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Preparing for the Predators

Alex Ovechkin controls the puck against Nashville's Joel Ward, center, and Shea Weber in the Caps' preseason finale on Oct. 3. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post) Unlike most contests against Western Conference foes where Washington may not have much familiarity with an opponent, the Capitals played Nashville twice in the preseason....

By Katie Carrera  | October 15, 2010; 1:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  Nashville Predators  
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Mike Green won't play in Nashville

Defenseman Mike Green will miss Saturday's game in Nashville with an upper-body injury, Coach Bruce Boudreau said after this morning's practice. Green left the Wednesday's game with roughly six minutes remaining with what Boudreau then called a "stinger". "He's a lot better today than he was yesterday, so I do...

By Katie Carrera  | October 15, 2010; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (79)
Categories:  Injuries, Mike Green, Nashville Predators  
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Capitals 'need to win the right way'

The Washington Capitals know they haven't played their best hockey. But after going 3-1 through their first week of the 2010-11 season, they're also rather pleased that even though some games weren't perfect, they still found a way to win. The key between taking the glass half full or half...

By Katie Carrera  | October 15, 2010; 8:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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Boudreau: John Carlson will be great, but 'he's not there' yet

John McDonnell/The Washington Post After acknowledging that defenseman John Carlson didn't have his strongest game against the Islanders last night, Coach Bruce Boudreau spoke more about the developing 20-year-old after Thursday's skate. For all that's expected of him, it's often easy to forget that he's still a rookie assimilating to...

By Katie Carrera  | October 14, 2010; 2:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, John Carlson  
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Bruce Boudreau expects Semyon Varlamov to dress against Nashville

Coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn't give away much regarding the status of the Capitals' group of injured players, but he did say that barring a setback in practice Friday, goaltender Semyon Varlamov will dress against the Predators Saturday. "Unless something crazy happens tomorrow he'll be dressing for Saturday's game," said Boudreau,...

By Katie Carrera  | October 14, 2010; 1:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Injuries, Marcus Johansson, Matt Bradley, Mike Green, Semyon Varlamov, Tom Poti  
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Morning practice update

The Capitals had an optional practice at KCI this morning but nearly the entire roster is in attendance. Mike Green, who left last night's game with what Bruce Boudreau called a "stinger," Michal Neuvirth and John Erskine are the only players not on the ice. Matt Bradley and Tom Poti,...

By Katie Carrera  | October 14, 2010; 11:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Marcus Johansson, Matt Bradley, Mike Green, Tom Poti  
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Capitals' penalty kill remains perfect

Not to be overlooked from the Capitals' 2-1 win over the Islanders Wednesday night was the importance, once again, of Washington's new-and-improved penalty kill. With a 3-for-3 showing against the Isles, the Capitals improved to 15-for-15 on the season. They're currently tied with Edmonton (9-for-9) and Florida (2-for-2) atop the...

By Katie Carrera  | October 14, 2010; 8:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Morning Roundup, Penalty kill  
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Michal Neuvirth continues improvement in Capitals' win over Islanders

It wasn't pretty, but the Capitals still managed to earn their third straight win at Verizon Center in this young season with a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night. One of the key reasons the game remained within reach for as long as it did, particularly...

By Katie Carrera  | October 13, 2010; 11:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, New York Islanders  
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Open thread: Capitals vs. Islanders

The Capitals (2-1-0) face the New York Islanders (1-0-1) looking for a third straight victory as they close out the season's first homestand at Verizon Center. You can chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation with staff writers Katie Carrera (@kcarrera) and Gene Wang (@gene_wang)...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 13, 2010; 6:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (190)
Categories:  New York Islanders  
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Tonight's lineup: Islanders at Caps

Michal Neuvirth (2.62 GAA, .916 save percentage) gets his fourth consecutive start Wednesday night and will oppose Islanders veteran netminder Dwayne Roloson, who is making his season debut. This is the Islanders' first road game of 2010-11 and they will face the Capitals without several players including James Wisniewski (suspended),...

By Katie Carrera  | October 13, 2010; 6:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Lineups, New York Islanders  
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Boudreau: Nicklas Backstrom, Tomas Fleischmann not switching lines

Following this morning's optional skate, Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau found particular humor in the speculation he was considering moving superstar center Nicklas Backstrom to the second line and promoting Tomas Fleischmann to skate with Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble on the first line. While Backstrom and Fleischmann did swap spots...

By Gene Wang  | October 13, 2010; 11:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Nicklas Backstrom, Tomas Fleischmann  
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Semyon Varlamov still out but progressing

Washington Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov is making progress in his recovery from an undisclosed injury and was on the ice for this morning's optional skate at KCI, but while he told colleague Slava Malamud that he's "one hundred percent" healthy and ready to go, Coach Bruce Boudreau ruled him out...

By Gene Wang  | October 13, 2010; 11:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Marcus Johansson, Semyon Varlamov  
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Morning skate update

Quick update from Gene Wang at the morning skate: Center Marcus Johansson (week to week after blocking a shot Monday) and goalie Semyon Varlamov (day to day, groin injury) are out on the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, while Alex Ovechkin and defenseman Tom Poti, who has an undisclosed "lower-body...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 13, 2010; 10:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Semyon Varlamov says he's ready to dress tonight vs. Isles

Here's the first update of the season from Slava Malamud of Sport-Express: How frustrating is it to be Semyon Varlamov right about now? For those of you keeping score at home (and that would probably be all of you), this makes it three injuries in less than a year. Or...

By Slava Malamud  | October 13, 2010; 8:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Semyon Varlamov  
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Isles D James Wisniewski suspended for obscene gesture

Islanders defenseman James Wisniewski, whose inappropriate gesture (blurred out in this clip) Monday toward Rangers forward Sean Avery is making the rounds on YouTube, has been suspended two games by the NHL. Wisniewski, who said he didn't remember the first-period incident, will miss tomorrow night's game against the Caps at...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 12, 2010; 6:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  New York Islanders  
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Boudreau shuffles lines in Tuesday practice

There were a few changes to the Capitals' line combinations at practice Tuesday morning. Chief among them was that Nicklas Backstrom was skating alongside Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin on the second line while Tomas Fleischmann centered Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble on the first. As we know and have...

By Katie Carrera  | October 12, 2010; 1:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Nicklas Backstrom, Tomas Fleischmann  
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Marcus Johansson week-to-week and other injury updates

Rookie center Marcus Johansson didn't practice this morning and Coach Bruce Boudreau said he is week-to-week and "definitely out for the weekend" after blocking a shot with his foot in the first period against the Ottawa Senators on Monday. Matt Hendricks, who is a natural center, skated on the third...

By Katie Carrera  | October 12, 2010; 12:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Injuries, Marcus Johansson, Matt Bradley, Tom Poti  
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Capitals' power play off to a slow start

After the Ottawa Senators tied the game at 2-2 on a goal by Ryan Shannon in the third period Monday night, the Capitals were presented with a timely opportunity. Ottawa's Peter Regin went off for hooking midway through the period, giving Washington its fourth power play of the contest. But...

By Katie Carrera  | October 12, 2010; 9:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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Mike Green and his defensive agenda

Without Tom Poti in the lineup Monday against the Senators there was a considerable chunk of even strength and penalty killing minutes to be picked up by someone, or a combination of someones on the Capitals roster. Throughout the Capitals 3-2 overtime win, that responsibility fell largely to Mike Green,...

By Katie Carrera  | October 12, 2010; 12:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Mike Green, Ottawa Senators  
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Capitals get contributions from all ages on penalty kill

In a penalty-filled game against Ottawa tonight, the Washington Capitals' man-down unit had almost as much to do with the club's 3-2 victory at Verizon Center as Alex Ovechkin's goal with 31 seconds to play in overtime. Ovechkin's winner certainly was spectacular, and it's what teammates, coaches and fans have...

By Gene Wang  | October 11, 2010; 11:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson, Marcus Johansson, Michal Neuvirth  
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Open thread: Caps vs. Senators

The Caps look for another home victory tonight when they host the Ottawa Senators at Verizon Center. Feel free to chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation with staff writers Katie Carrera and Gene Wang on Twitter and see your tweets here by using #capswp....

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 11, 2010; 6:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (138)
Categories:  Ottawa Senators  
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Tonight's lineup: Senators at Caps

Michal Neuvirth is slated to make his third start in four days against Ottawa tonight and will be opposed by Pascal Leclaire, who has a .905 save percentage and 3.54 goals against average through two games, in the Senators net. Something to keep an eye on may be the Capitals...

By Katie Carrera  | October 11, 2010; 4:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Lineups, Ottawa Senators  
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Statistical analysis: Marcus Johansson, Nicklas Backstrom and reasonable expectations

With only two games in the books for Washington Capital's rookie Marcus Johansson fans are anxious to see both the "defensive upside" Boudreau cited as the reason for keeping him over fan favorite Mathieu Perreault, as well as the on-ice production that comes with General Manager George McPhee's assertion that...

By Neil Greenberg  | October 11, 2010; 3:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Marcus Johansson, Nicklas Backstrom, Statistical analysis  
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Caps' second line off to a strong start

Two games in, the second line of Brooks Laich, Tomas Fleischmann and Alexander Semin has combined for three goals, eight points, 11 shots and a plus-5 rating. On paper everything looks positive, but like much of the lineup this early in the year, there have been bad shifts and turnovers...

By Katie Carrera  | October 11, 2010; 2:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Alexander Semin, Brooks Laich, Tomas Fleischmann  
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Travel advisory for Caps games this week

Driving to Caps games this week? Might want to rethink that decision and opt for Metro, cabbing or even walking, because some giant alien robots will be causing a good deal of gridlock around Verizon Center during tonight's and Wednesday's contests (both at 7 p.m.). The DC Office of Motion...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 11, 2010; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Boudreau: Capitals have a 'tiger by the tail' in Senators

The Capitals saw the good (vs. New Jersey) and the bad (vs. Atlanta) through their first two games of the 2010-11 season, but as they host Ottawa tonight for the third contest in four days, they'll have, as Coach Bruce Boudreau said, "a tiger by the tail" in the Senators....

By Katie Carrera  | October 11, 2010; 12:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Ottawa Senators  
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Michal Neuvirth to start against Senators

Goaltender Michal Neuvirth is slated to start his third game in four days for the Capitals tonight against the Ottawa Senators, and Coach Bruce Boudreau there wasn't any hesitation to give the 22-year-old a heavy workload early. Although he might have entered training camp as a slightly lesser-known quantity on...

By Katie Carrera  | October 11, 2010; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, Mike Green, Ottawa Senators  
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NHL suspends Letourneau-Leblond for instigating in loss to Caps

The NHL has suspended Devils forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond for one game without pay for instigating a fight with rookie Caps center Marcus Johansson last night. Letourneau-Leblond, who sought out Johansson during the fight-filled last five minutes of Saturday's game, also was assessed slashing, fighting and a game misconduct. He will...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 10, 2010; 6:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  Marcus Johansson, New Jersey Devils  
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Marcus Johansson adapts to NHL's faster pace

John McDonnell/The Washington Post In his first two NHL games, Caps center Marcus Johansson has shown off his smooth skating and puck-handling capabilities, but he's also made some rookie mistakes. Exhibit A: The first-period giveaway that led to a New Jersey goal in an eventual Washington win. "With young players,...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 10, 2010; 6:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Marcus Johansson  
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Video: Caps fans enjoy a home-opening victory

Your Browser DoesNot Support IFrames. Video by Madeline Marshall/The Washington Post Caps superfan William "Goat" Stilwell, a Verizon Center staple, expresses his excitement about the upcoming season after watching the team raise the Presidents' Trophy banner and rout New Jersey, 7-2, in last night's home opener....

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 10, 2010; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  New Jersey Devils  
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