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Capitals Insider: October 17, 2010 - October 23, 2010

Caps end slide at two despite early barrage

Saturday night's game against the Thrashers might not have started off pretty for the Capitals, but a combined 76 shots, 44 hits and a 4-3 overtime win later it may have just been the game they needed coming off consecutive losses earlier this week. You can read more about Alexander...

By Katie Carrera  | October 23, 2010; 11:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
Categories:  Atlanta Thrashers  
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Tonight's lineup: Thrashers at Caps

Michal Neuvirth will start in net for the Capitals tonight and will be opposed by Chris Mason for the Thrashers. Tom Poti, D.J. King, Marcus Johansson are the scratches. After missing the past three games with an upper-body injury, Mike Green will return to the lineup for the Caps. Forwards...

By Katie Carrera  | October 23, 2010; 7:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (163)
Categories:  Atlanta Thrashers, Lineups  
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Dany Sabourin recalled, Varlamov day-to-day

The Capitals recalled goaltender Dany Sabourin from Hershey this afternoon and he took the ice for warm-ups at Verizon Center. It appears when Semyon Varlamov was the first goaltender off the ice this morning it was because of an injury. The team formally lists Varlamov as day-to-day with an undisclosed...

By Katie Carrera  | October 23, 2010; 6:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Atlanta Thrashers, Dany Sabourin, Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov  
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Michal Neuvirth to start against Thrashers

During his pre-game comments to the media, Coach Bruce Boudreau said Michal Neuvirth will start against Atlanta tonight at Verizon Center. Neuvirth is healthy after suffering from the flu this past week and Boudreau wanted to "change it up" after Semyon Varlamov played the past two games. I'll post the...

By Katie Carrera  | October 23, 2010; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Atlanta Thrashers, Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov  
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Perreault and Beagle recalled; Johansson out against Thrashers

The Capitals recalled Mathieu Perreault and Jay Beagle from Hershey for tonight's game at Verizon Center against the Atlanta Thrashers as Washington will be without Marcus Johansson (hip flexor), Matt Bradley (lower-body injury) and Boyd Gordon. Johansson is the newest addition to the Capitals' pre-existing group of walking wounded, but...

By Katie Carrera  | October 23, 2010; 11:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Atlanta Thrashers, Boyd Gordon, Injuries, Jay Beagle, Marcus Johansson, Mathieu Perreault, Matt Bradley  
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Live video chat with Coach Bruce Boudreau: Monday, 12:30 p.m.

"Ask me anything!" (John McDonnell/The Washington Post) Live on video, Washington Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau will take your questions about the team's play so far, his expectations for the season and more. Submit questions here, and bookmark that link for 12:30 p.m. this coming Monday, Oct. 25, when Boudreau will...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 22, 2010; 5:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau  
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Statistical analysis: When less Ovechkin is more

You want your best player on the ice, but you also want your best player at his best when he is on the ice. That's why the long shifts Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin has been taking lately are perplexing. Sure, "Ovi's got to create the space for Ovi," but...

By Neil Greenberg  | October 22, 2010; 4:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Statistical analysis  
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Mike Green, Matt Bradley getting closer to returning

Mike Green said Friday that he is progressing in his recovery from an undisclosed upper-body injury he suffered against the Islanders on Oct. 13 and that he will definitely travel with the team for next week's road trip. But while Green said he hopes to be back in a game...

By Katie Carrera  | October 22, 2010; 2:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Boyd Gordon, Injuries, Marcus Johansson, Matt Bradley, Mike Green  
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Leonsis: Caps 'aren't a very good team right now'

The Capitals lost their second straight game to the Bruins last night, and many, including Washington's players, cited the stellar play of Boston goalie Tim Thomas as the primary factor. "His lateral movement was just phenomenal," Caps winger Mike Knuble said of Thomas, who stopped 73 of 75 shots in...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 22, 2010; 12:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
Categories:  Boston Bruins, Ted Leonsis  
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Friday practice update from KCI

The Caps are working on special teams at Kettler Capitals Iceplex this morning, just as Coach Bruce Boudreau suggested they might. The first power-play unit: Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Knuble and Brooks Laich. The second: Alexander Semin, John Carlson, Tomas Fleischmann, Eric Fehr and Matt Hendricks. Boyd...

By Katie Carrera  | October 22, 2010; 11:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Power play  
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Capitals are missing Mike Green

In each of the past three games, the Capitals have fallen to a two-goal deficit to start the contest. They've also gone 2-for-13 on the power play during that same span. While neither occurrence is singly responsible for Washington's 1-2 record over the past seven days, they haven't helped either....

By Katie Carrera  | October 22, 2010; 8:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  Mike Green, Morning Roundup  
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Bruins 4, Caps 1 as Washington can't solve the Tim Thomas puzzle

Boston goalie Tim Thomas held the Capitals at bay.

By Katie Carrera  | October 21, 2010; 11:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  Boston Bruins, Bruce Boudreau  | Tags:  Marcus Johansson, goalkeeping  
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Open thread: Capitals at Bruins

The Washington Capitals (4-2) look to split their home-and-home series with the Boston Bruins (3-1) with a victory tonight at TD Garden. Chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation on Twitter with beat writer Katie Carrera (@kcarrera). See your tweets here by using #caps. Faceoff:...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 21, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (164)
Categories:  Boston Bruins  
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Tonight's lineup: Caps at Bruins

Semyon Varlamov gets his first start of the season at TD Garden and will oppose the Bruins' Tim Thomas, who had 35-saves against the Capitals on Tuesday night. This morning, it appeared as though Tuukka Rask would make his first start of the season but that's not the case as...

By Katie Carrera  | October 21, 2010; 6:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Boston Bruins, Lineups  
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Boudreau: Caps' top line is 'slightly missing'

Mike Knuble gets stuffed by Boston goalie Tim Thomas. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post) While the Capitals' top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Knuble has created its share of offensive chances and combined for 14 points (6 goals 8 assists) through the first six games of the...

By Katie Carrera  | October 21, 2010; 1:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Bruce Boudreau, Mike Knuble, Nicklas Backstrom  
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Semyon Varlamov off first, likely to start against Bruins

Semyon Varlamov was the first goaltender off the ice for the Capitals this morning at TD Garden in Boston and it appears he will get the start in this rematch against the Bruins. He will probably face Tuukka Rask, who is expected to get his first start of the season...

By Katie Carrera  | October 21, 2010; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Boston Bruins, John Carlson, Semyon Varlamov  
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Boudreau: 'Ovi's got to create space for Ovi'

The Boston Bruins, and particularly towering 6-foot-9 defenseman and captain Zdeno Chara, have often made life a little more difficult for Alex Ovechkin. He's tallied 23 points in 21 career games against the Bruins and 19 points in 17 games during Chara's time in Boston. "It's a challenge. Not just...

By Katie Carrera  | October 21, 2010; 8:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (107)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Boston Bruins, Morning Roundup  
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Caps not quite clicking on offense yet

(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post) The Capitals' 2010-11 season is just six games young, but Washington's struggle to generate the prolific offense it's capable of has been apparent. No, the Caps aren't in panic mode just yet, but after today's practice, players cited a desire to work at fixing the...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 20, 2010; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
 
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Tom Poti returns to the ice after injury

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post) After missing the past three games, Washington Capitals defenseman Tom Poti was back on the ice last night logging considerable minutes in a 3-1 loss to Boston at Verizon Center. Poti had been out with an undisclosed lower-body injury. That setback followed an eye injury from...

By Gene Wang  | October 20, 2010; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Boston Bruins, Tom Poti  
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Line tweaks and other practice updates

Some notes from this morning's practice at KCI: --Marcus Johansson skated between Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin while Tomas Fleischmann moved to the line with Jason Chimera and Eric Fehr today in the latest line tweak. We'll see how they line up tomorrow. "It was just something to look at,...

By Katie Carrera  | October 20, 2010; 1:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Boston Bruins  
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Mike Green says he won't play Thursday

Just a few quick updates for the Twitter-less, via Katie (@kcarrera): *Defenseman Mike Green (undisclosed upper-body injury) skated this morning at Caps practice but said he's not ready to play and will miss Thursday's game against the Bruins. *Michal Neuvirth, who left last night's game early with the flu, was...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 20, 2010; 12:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Mike Green  
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Capitals consider more traffic in front of opposing nets

The Capitals became the latest witness to the Tim Thomas renaissance Tuesday night, as the 36-year-old goaltender stopped 35 of 36 shots, including all 18 Washington tried in the third period. He's only allowed two goals on 97 shots over three games this season (.979 save percentage, 0.67 GAA) and...

By Katie Carrera  | October 20, 2010; 9:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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Bruins 3, Caps 1: Michal Neuvirth leaves game with the flu

This was one of those strange games where instead of not playing well throughout and winning (like in Nashville), the Capitals played tough for most of Tuesday night's contest against the Boston Bruins but wound up dropping the first game of this home-and-home series, 3-1. Less than a minute after...

By Katie Carrera  | October 20, 2010; 2:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Boston Bruins, Jeff Schultz, Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov  
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Open thread: Capitals vs. Bruins

The Washington Capitals (4-1) host the Boston Bruins (2-1) looking for a fifth 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 staff writers Katie Carrera (@kcarrera) and Gene Wang (@gene_wang). See your tweets...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 19, 2010; 7:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (111)
Categories:  Boston Bruins  
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Tonight's lineup: Bruins at Caps

Michal Neuvirth will try to be the first goaltender in the Capitals' 36-year history to start and play every minute of the team's first six games tonight as he makes his sixth consecutive start against the Bruins. In net for Boston will be Tim Thomas, who appears to have returned...

By Katie Carrera  | October 19, 2010; 7:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Boston Bruins, Lineups  
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Preparing for the Boston Bruins

Boston goalie Tim Thomas makes a save against the Devils. (Andy Marlin/Getty Images) Boston heads into tonight's game against the Capitals having acknowledged how well it needs to play in order to extend its two-game winning streak. Washington should provide a strong test early on for the Bruins, who look...

By Katie Carrera  | October 19, 2010; 1:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  Boston Bruins  
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Michal Neuvirth to start against the Bruins

Goaltender Michal Neuvirth will get his sixth consecutive start at Verizon Center tonight as the Capitals host the Bruins at 7:30 p.m., and it looks like defenseman Tom Poti will be back in the lineup after missing the past three contests. Among the other injured players, Coach Bruce Boudreau said...

By Katie Carrera  | October 19, 2010; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
Categories:  Boston Bruins, Injuries, Michal Neuvirth, Mike Green  
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Capitals, Bruins each balancing two goaltenders

The Capitals are far from the only team prepared to split the responsibilities in net between two goaltenders. While it's uncertain whether Michal Neuvirth will get his sixth consecutive start or if Semyon Varlamov, who told John Buccigross he would start Thursday, will make his season debut for the Capitals...

By Katie Carrera  | October 19, 2010; 9:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Boston Bruins, Morning Roundup  
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Capitals' penalty kill rolls on

While the Capitals remain searching for a consistent performance throughout an entire contest, one element has done well in each outing and sometimes helped secure wins in those contests with less-than-perfect showings: the penalty kill. The Capitals made tweaks to their penalty kill during training camp and the preseason, and...

By Katie Carrera  | October 18, 2010; 4:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Boyd Gordon, Jeff Schultz, Michal Neuvirth, Penalty kill  
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Tom Poti: 'I'm hoping I'll be ready' vs. Bruins

Rookie defenseman John Carlson left the skate early this morning because he was sore after blocking a shot in Saturday's game against Nashville. Coach Bruce Boudreau said his status against the Bruins will be determined Tuesday. "We said we're down in numbers right now, so let's not push it and...

By Katie Carrera  | October 18, 2010; 12:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  John Carlson, Tom Poti  
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Poll: Are you concerned about the Capitals' unbalanced play?

There is little question that the Capitals were happy that they managed to claim victory in Nashville Saturday night, but for a team that spent the previous two days talking about the need to establish chemistry and hone in on details, it was far from a perfect game. "We don't...

By Katie Carrera  | October 18, 2010; 9:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (71)
Categories:  Morning Roundup, Poll  
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Nicklas Backstrom leads the way in the defensive zone, but is that a good thing?

The Capitals have struggled a bit with faceoffs these first few games, causing Coach Bruce Boudreau to rely more heavily on Nicklas Backstrom for draws in the defensive zone. That perhaps explains why it took the Super Swede four games to record his first point of the 2010-11 NHL season....

By Neil Greenberg  | October 17, 2010; 3:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Nicklas Backstrom, Statistical analysis  
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More on the Capitals' comeback in Nashville

When the Capitals started their comeback against the Predators, the most palpable change in mood and atmosphere at Bridgestone Arena came not before Alexander Semin's goal but after. Washington's fourth-line combination of Matt Hendricks, David Steckel and Boyd Gordon created sustained offensive pressure down low in the Nashville zone. They...

By Katie Carrera  | October 17, 2010; 9:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Karl Alzner, Nashville Predators  
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