- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 12, 2009

SEEN AND HEARD AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN

NEW YORK — Jay Beagle became the seventh player to make his NHL debut for the Washington Capitals this season, and he might be the most unlikely of the group. Beagle was undrafted after his time with the University of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves, and originally signed an American League Hockey contract with the Hershey Bears.

But after a breakout campaign last season with the Bears, he signed an NHL contract with the Caps.

“I really liked him at summer camp last year,” Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said. “With us last year when I was in Hershey at the beginning, he was just a guy who wanted to learn and work so hard that you couldn’t help but like him.”

He earned plenty of praise from the organization for his work in training camp, but after potting 19 goals last year he has only two in 25 games this season. One problem is he missed two months with a concussion, which makes his ascension to the NHL ranks even more improbable.

“It was the most frustrating time, just losing that two months and everything you worked for in the summer,” Beagle said. “You can’t do anything. You are just sitting there on the couch. You can’t ride the bike and can’t keep in shape. That was probably the toughest thing I’ve had to go through.”

—Corey Masisak

ADD IT UP

While post-lockout rule changes have made points easier to come by, the Caps are on pace to break the franchise record for a season. That mark was set in 1985-86, when the Caps collected 107 points.

Year Pts after Total

55 games(pace) 1985-86 72 107

1999-00 64 102

2008-09 73 108

Three Stars

Mike Green

Sixteen points, including nine goals, in his last seven games

Ryan Callahan

Scored one, set one up and generally wreaked havoc

Tomas Fleischmann

Snapped a nine-game goalless drought and created Eric Fehr´s tally

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