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Capitals Insider: November 7, 2010 - November 13, 2010

Sabres snap Caps' winning streak with 3-2 OT win

Although they had a strong first period and scored first for just the fifth time this season, the Capitals' start was overshadowed by what several players and Bruce Boudreau called their worst 20 minutes of hockey this season (or worse) in the second. By allowing the Sabres to spend almost...

By Katie Carrera  | November 13, 2010; 11:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Braden Holtby, Bruce Boudreau, Buffalo Sabres  
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Open thread: Capitals at Sabres

Braden Holtby makes his second NHL start as the Washington Capitals (12-4-0) take on the Buffalo Sabres (5-9-3), who have yet to win at HSBC Arena. Washington, meanwhile, looks to extend its winning streak to seven games. Chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation on...

By Washington Post sports editors  | November 13, 2010; 6:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Categories:  Buffalo Sabres  
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Tonight's lineup: Caps at Sabres

Marcus Johansson returns to the lineup and Braden Holtby will make the second NHL start of his career against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena. Meanwhile, veteran defenseman Tom Poti, who played his first contest after missing nine with a groin injury Thursday, will be scratched for tonight's game. Forwards...

By Katie Carrera  | November 13, 2010; 6:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Buffalo Sabres, Lineups  
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Braden Holtby first off the ice for Capitals

It looks as though Braden Holtby will make his second NHL start against the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night after all. He was the first goaltender off the ice for the Capitals this morning at HSBC Arena and Michal Neuvirth is still working with presumed scratch D.J. King and the assistant...

By Katie Carrera  | November 13, 2010; 12:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Braden Holtby, Buffalo Sabres, Marcus Johansson  
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Ovechkin, Backstrom and Green on All-Star fan ballot

Online fan voting to determine six players who will attend this year's NHL All Star game in Raleigh, N.C., will open on Monday and three Capitals players are on the ballot -- Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green. One might say that it's a little peculiar that Alexander Semin,...

By Katie Carrera  | November 12, 2010; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, All-Star Game, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom  
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Marcus Johansson to return to Caps' lineup against Sabres

Coach Bruce Boudreau said he intended to get rookie center Marcus Johansson back in the lineup against the Buffalo Sabres Saturday, but with Boyd Gordon expected to miss at least a week with a lower-body injury it's also a necessity. "He's such a great skater, he's going to create things...

By Katie Carrera  | November 12, 2010; 4:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Buffalo Sabres, Marcus Johansson  
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Optional practice before Caps travel to Buffalo

The Capitals had an optional practice at KCI this morning before getting ready to head to Buffalo for their game against the Sabres on Saturday night. There was a fairly sizable group on the ice, but it didn't include many of the big-minute players, such as Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom,...

By Katie Carrera  | November 12, 2010; 12:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Buffalo Sabres  
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Mike Knuble's sneaky goal

If there's anyone with the proper perspective to not get too discouraged by a scoring slump, it's probably Mike Knuble. He's been through most imaginable situations during his NHL career and always believed he'd snap out of the funk that saw him go 13 games between goals. It just didn't...

By Katie Carrera  | November 12, 2010; 8:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
Categories:  Mike Knuble, Morning Roundup  
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Alexander Semin's second hat trick of the year propels Caps past Lightning

Through the first 16 games of the season, perhaps no player has performed as consistently for the Capitals as Alexander Semin. A team-high 12 goals and 21 points, combined with a savvy ability on the penalty kill and more disciplined play, has helped the winger, often criticized in previous seasons...

By Katie Carrera  | November 12, 2010; 12:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  Alexander Semin, Boyd Gordon, David Steckel, Injuries, Matt Bradley, Tampa Bay Lightning  
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Open thread: Capitals vs. Lightning

The Washington Capitals (11-4-0) look for their sixth straight win as they host Steven Stamkos and the revamped Tampa Bay Lightning (8-4-2), who figure to pose more of a challenge in the Southeast Division than in seasons past. Chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | November 11, 2010; 6:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
Categories:  Tampa Bay Lightning  
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Tonight's lineup: Lightning at Caps

Michal Neuvirth will start in net for the Capitals and oppose Tampa Bay's Dan Ellis (4-2-2, 2.11 GAA, .924 save percentage) as Washington tries to extend its winning streak, which stands at five games. The Capitals are also 7-1-0 at Verizon Center. It appears as though Tom Poti will return...

By Katie Carrera  | November 11, 2010; 6:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Lineups, Tampa Bay Lightning  
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Steven Stamkos leads revamped Lightning to Verizon Center

Tampa Bay star Steven Stamkos gets tied up by former Capital Shaone Morrisonn and John Carlson during a game in March. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post) This evening at Verizon Center, the Capitals get their first look at the Tampa Bay Lightning team that, through 14 games this season, appears to...

By Katie Carrera  | November 11, 2010; 1:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  Tampa Bay Lightning  
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Tom Poti 'probable' for Caps' matchup with Lightning

Coach Bruce Boudreau said this morning that defenseman Tom Poti is "probable" for tonight's game at Verizon Center against Tampa Bay. Poti has missed the past eight games with what is believed to be a groin injury, and the last time he suited up was Oct. 21 against the Boston...

By Katie Carrera  | November 11, 2010; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  All-Star Game, Bruce Boudreau, Mike Green, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tom Poti  
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Morning roundup: All-Star Game reactions

Here are some links to get the day rolling before the Capitals get their first look at the new-and-improved Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Verizon Center. --The Caps made a few noteworthy radio appearances on Wednesday. First up, Brooks Laich on NHL Live, which includes the quote below with his...

By Katie Carrera  | November 11, 2010; 9:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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All-Star Game gets a makeover

The NHL All-Star Game will look like a schoolyard pickup game this year. The league announced Wednesday that it is switching from the conference-vs.-conference format it has used for years to a player draft conducted by the All-Stars themselves, in which captains selected by the players will determine the teams....

By Associated Press  | November 10, 2010; 4:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  All-Star Game  
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Capitals assign Semyon Varlamov to Bears

The Capitals sent Semyon Varlamov down to the AHL's Hershey Bears this afternoon, a sign that the oft-injured goalie could be back between the pipes for Washington soon. Varlamov has missed eight straight games because of the flareup of a groin injury that also kept him out in the preseason....

By Lindsay Applebaum  | November 10, 2010; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Semyon Varlamov  
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Capitals recall Marcus Johansson

The Caps have recalled center Marcus Johansson from the AHL's Hershey Bears after sending him down Nov. 6 for a conditioning stint. Johansson, who suffered a hip-flexor injury Oct. 21 in Boston, saw game action with the Bears Sunday and Tuesday in Charlotte, finishing with three shots and a plus-1...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | November 10, 2010; 12:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Marcus Johansson  
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Almost a Gordie Howe hat trick for Matt Hendricks

When the officials escorted Matt Hendricks off the ice following a scrum with the New York Rangers' Michael Sauer Tuesday night, he appeared to be one third of the way en route to a Gordie Howe hat trick -- a fight, goal and an assist in one game. Hendricks himself...

By Katie Carrera  | November 10, 2010; 8:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
Categories:  Matt Hendricks, Morning Roundup  
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Caps 5, Rangers 3 in a game with plenty of hits and unlikely goal scorers

First, if you haven't already, check out my hard-copy edition story of the Capitals fifth straight win with a 5-3 victory over the Rangers, a back-and-forth game that featured 55 hits, 34 penalty minutes and goals from some who were slumping and some who are rarely ever expected to score....

By Katie Carrera  | November 9, 2010; 11:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Brooks Laich, John Erskine, Mike Knuble, New York Rangers  
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Open thread: Capitals at Rangers

The Washington Capitals (10-4-0) are expecting a tight defensive game tonight against the New York Rangers (7-6-1) at Madison Square 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: 7:30...

By Washington Post sports editors  | November 9, 2010; 7:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (100)
Categories:  New York Rangers  
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Tonight's lineup: Caps at Rangers

The Capitals take on Henrik Lundqvist (2.55 GAA, .924 save percentage) and the Rangers at Madison Square Garden for the first time this season and for Washington, goaltender Michal Neuvirth is set to make his 13th start of the season. The only lineup change from Sunday's game is the addition...

By Katie Carrera  | November 9, 2010; 7:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Lineups, New York Rangers  
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Preparing for the New York Rangers

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is 9-5-2 in 16 starts against Washington. (Ray Stubblebine/Reuters) In the first month of the season, the New York Rangers watched three of their prominent players suffer significant injuries. First it was Chris Drury and Marian Gaborik with a fractured finger and separated shoulder, respectively, on...

By Katie Carrera  | November 9, 2010; 2:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
Categories:  New York Rangers  
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Video: Caps-Rangers preview and more

Caps beat writer Katie Carrera chatted live this afternoon about tonight's game at Madison Square Garden, the three young goalies and players who might stand out on HBO's upcoming 24/7 series. Check out the video below, or watch it in segments here....

By Washington Post sports editors  | November 9, 2010; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  New York Rangers  
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Brooks Laich ready to go against the Rangers

Brooks Laich was on the ice at Madison Square Garden for the Capitals' morning skate and said he is ready to face the New York Rangers tonight after missing Monday's practice and being held out of the third period and overtime Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers with an undisclosed upper-body...

By Katie Carrera  | November 9, 2010; 12:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Brooks Laich, D.J. King, David Steckel, Injuries, New York Rangers  
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Capitals want to take advantage of busy November schedule

The month of November is a busy one for the Capitals, who know this is also the time that they can begin to pull away from the rest of the Eastern Conference. Washington enters tonight's game against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden sitting atop the conference standings with 20...

By Katie Carrera  | November 9, 2010; 8:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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Live Caps Q&A: Tuesday, 12:30 p.m.

Live from Madison Square Garden, Capitals beat writer Katie Carrera will answer questions about Washington's game against the New York Rangers and more. The discussion begins at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Click here to submit questions....

By Washington Post sports editors  | November 8, 2010; 5:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  New York Rangers  
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Semyon Varlamov eager to get back in the mix for Caps

Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov takes a break during a Sept. 9 practice. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post) After spending more than hour on the ice at KCI, goatlender (thanks to our sharp commenters for the amusing typo catch) goaltender Semyon Varlamov said he "feels great" and that he's getting closer to...

By Katie Carrera  | November 8, 2010; 12:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (82)
Categories:  Brooks Laich, Injuries, New York Rangers, Semyon Varlamov  
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Semyon Varlamov taking shots in practice

For the first time since he went back on injured reserve with a groin injury in late October, Semyon Varlamov is taking shots in practice with the rest of the Capitals. Varlamov has missed the past seven games with the latest flare up of his groin injury, which initially cut...

By Katie Carrera  | November 8, 2010; 11:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Brooks Laich, Injuries, Semyon Varlamov  
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Caps' third line finding a rhythm

In the past three games that Jason Chimera, Boyd Gordon and Eric Fehr have played together on the Capitals' third line, there has been little mistaking their chemistry with each other or the dividends that result from their blue-collar approach. There were stretches against the Maple Leafs, Bruins and Flyers...

By Katie Carrera  | November 8, 2010; 8:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Boyd Gordon, Eric Fehr, Jason Chimera, Morning Roundup  
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Caps win fourth straight, beat Flyers 3-2 in overtime

The Capitals put together a strong performance to end their three-game homestand, remaining unflappable despite the Flyers' occasional antics and coming through on the power play to claim a 3-2 overtime win. It's Washington's fourth straight victory and improves the Capitals record to 5-0 in overtime and 6-1 in one-goal...

By Katie Carrera  | November 7, 2010; 9:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Braden Holtby, Brooks Laich, Philadelphia Flyers  
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Open thread: Capitals vs. Flyers

The Washington Capitals (9-4-0) seek their fourth straight win as they host the Eastern Conference rival Philadelphia Flyers (9-4-1) at Verizon Center. Chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation on Twitter and see your tweets here by using #caps. Faceoff: 5 p.m.; TV: CSN, NHL...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | November 7, 2010; 4:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  Philadelphia Flyers  
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Tonight's lineup: Flyers at Caps

It might be an early start at Verizon Center and only a handful of days into November, but there's no reason to believe that today's tilt with the Philadelphia Flyers will lack any of the emotion that's laced this rivalry in recent seasons. The Flyers played last night, defeating the...

By Katie Carrera  | November 7, 2010; 4:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Braden Holtby, Lineups, Marcus Johansson, Philadelphia Flyers  
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Preparing for the Philadelphia Flyers

Sergei "Bob" Bobrovsky has been Philadelphia's top goalie this season. (Kathy Kmonicek/AP) The Philadelphia Flyers enter tonight's game as one of the hottest teams in the NHL, winners of their previous six games and averaging four goals per game during the winning streak. The defending Eastern Conference champions lead the...

By Greg Schimmel  | November 7, 2010; 11:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Philadelphia Flyers  
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Statistical analysis: Should Alexander Semin stay on the top line?

The Washington Capitals' top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Knuble has arguably been one of the better line combos in hockey. But with Knuble struggling to keep a 30-point pace this season, Coach Bruce Boudreau once again turned to Alexander Semin to provide a much-needed spark to...

By Neil Greenberg  | November 7, 2010; 8:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Alexander Semin, Mike Knuble, Statistical analysis  
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