Player News - Capitals

Date: Team: Pos:

After getting past the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round, the Washington Capitals believe they came away from the series with a little more mental toughness.

"That's something mentally that you have to go through a little bit because other team is going, 'We've got nothing to lose' and we're on the other side going, 'We've got everything to lose,'" Trotz said. "So that hardened us, too. We've handled that a lot better this year versus last year. That's why I like where our team is going in terms of the growth and finding the next level of maturity." The Capitals are hoping the adversity they overcame in round one against the Maple Leafs will help build a foundation in their quest for their first ever Stanley Cup. They’re headed into a rematch of last year’s round two series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a series in which they lost in six games. If Washington gets past the Penguins this time around, it’ll be the first time they pass the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs since they went to the final in 1998.
Source: NHL.com
Apr 25 - 8:11 PM

Lars Eller missed Tuesday's practice for maintenance.

However, he is expected to be fine to play on Thursday night when Washington hosts Pittsburgh in Game 1 of the second round of the playoffs. Eller had two assists in six contests against Toronto in Round 1. He had 25 points in 81 games during the regular season.
Apr 25 - 6:21 PM

Tom Wilson is fine after leaving practice early on Tuesday, according to coach Barry Trotz.

He was hit in the foot with a shot and left the session early. Wilson had three goals and 12 penalty minutes in six games against Toronto in Round 1 of the postseason. He should be available for Game 1 versus Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Apr 25 - 6:18 PM

Karl Alzner (upper body) is questionable for Game 1 of the second round against Pittsburgh.

He went through a full practice Tuesday, but he skated on the team's extra pairing with Taylor Chorney. "He's progressing," coach Barry Trotz said. "He's day to day, and when the trainers say go then he'll go." The Capitals may use seven defenders when Alzner is healthy because Nate Schmidt has played well during his absence.
Apr 25 - 6:11 PM

Braden Holtby led the Capitals into the second round of the playoffs by stopping 37 of 38 shots in a tight Game 6 win over the Maple Leafs on Sunday night.

Holtby’s only blemish came following an odd bounce off the backboards onto Auston Matthews' stick three feet away from the net, which the prized rookie roofed into the net. Otherwise, Holtby regained his mojo in the final two games of the series by stopping 61 of the last 63 shots he faced. The 27-year-old is 4-2 in the postseason with a 2.36 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.
Apr 23 - 11:37 PM

Marcus Johansson scored a late tying goal and an overtime winner in Game 6 to lead the Capitals to a wild 2-1 overtime win over the Maple Leafs on Sunday evening.

Johansson's first two goals of the playoffs wrapped up a surprisingly tough first round series for the Presidents Trophy winners. After the Maple Leafs took two of the first three games, the Capitals won the final three to set up a second round date with the Penguins. Johansson, who totaled five points in the six-game series, flipped a rebound home from the top of the goal mouth to seal the deal.
Apr 23 - 10:22 PM

Taylor Chorney and Paul Carey are projected to be scratched for Game 6 against Toronto on Sunday.

The oft-scratched Chorney hasn't played yet in the postseason, after dressing for 18 games in the regular season. Carey saw just six games of action himself, but has been relegated to little more than a Black Ace for Washington.
Apr 23 - 6:10 PM

Braden Holtby will be in net on Sunday for Game 6 against Toronto.

One more win and it's on to the next round for Holtby and the Capitals. He's allowed 15 goals and sports a .915 save percentage this series, but will merely have to hold serve to finish the upstart Leafs.
Apr 23 - 6:07 PM

Alex Ovechkin isn't feeling any lingering effects from Nazem Kadri's low hit.

Ovechkin briefly left Game 5 with what looked like a knee or leg injury, but he was able to complete the contest. He has three goals and no assists in the first round series.
Apr 23 - 12:15 PM

Karl Alzner will not play in Game 6 Sunday.

Alzner was a participant in the morning skate but the decision has been made to sit him out with an upper body injury. It is the fourth straight game he has missed and the Capitals will go with six defensemen and 12 forwards against the Maple Leafs.
Apr 23 - 11:44 AM

When Karl Alzner (upper body) is ready to return to the lineup, the Capitals could go with seven defensemen and 11 forwards.

The Capitals love the speed of Nate Schmidt on the blueline and do not want to take him out of the lineup so Brett Connolly is a likely scratch if Alzner returns for the Toronto series. Connolly played only a combined 10:38 in the Capitals last two games so it is not like they will miss him.
Apr 23 - 11:39 AM

Alex Ovechkin will suit up in Game 6 against Toronto on Sunday, according to head coach Barry Trotz.

Ovechkin briefly exited Game 5 after taking a hip-check from Leafs forward Nazem Kadri, but he managed to return to the game. The Russian sniper was reevaluated by team doctors after the game, but he seems to have avoided serious injury.
Apr 22 - 12:46 PM

It seems that despite how bad it looked, the hit on Alex Ovechkin by Nazem Kadri Friday night will not be an issue for Ovie going forward.

Kadri administered a hip check to Ovechkin that had him tumbling head over heels. Initially, Ovie was laid out on the ice in pain seemingly favoring his knee. After a brief break in the dressing room, Ovechkin was able to return with no lingering effects. "It doesn’t hurt," Ovie said, after the game. "Nothing." Well that's good news for Washigton fans.
Apr 22 - 9:21 AM

Justin Williams has seven career game-winning goals in the postseason.

What is even more amazing is that he has scored a game-winning goal in every game of a playoff series except for a Game 3. Williams certainly has carved out a legacy for himself. We wouldn't be surprised if he scores the winning goal of this series as well.
Apr 22 - 9:12 AM

Games 1 and 4 hero Tom Wilson was benched for a part of Game 5 Friday night.

Wilson took a number of questionable penalties which led to Capitals' coach Barry Trotz benching him for all but one minute of the third period. "I thought Tom had lots of energy, but you cannot take four penalties in a playoff game," Trotz said. "So he didn’t see the ice after that last one." We expect Wilson will take his regular shifts Sunday in Game 6.
Apr 22 - 9:05 AM


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