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By Andrew P. Napolitano
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Joel Ward
The Capitals hit the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex this morning without center Brooks Laich, who, according to a team spokesperson, is "being cautious" with a lower body injury.
Since teams started focusing on Ovechkin, the Capitals have just two power play goals in seven games. What's the fix?
Twice in his career Adam Oates has forced a team's hands. He's expecting Marty Erat to be a professional while he awaits a trade.
Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby prides himself in bouncing back from losses. He'll get that chance tonight in Toronto.
Mike Green skated without pain on Tuesday, but Capitals coach Adam Oates said his game conditioning is lacking.
Nicklas Backstrom remained perfect in shootouts as the Caps remained within one point of the division-leading Penguins.
Ward's goal-scoring isn't as big a surprise if you go back to the three seasons he spent with Nashville before joining the Caps. He had at least 10 in all three seasons, with a high of 17 in 2008-09. He's on pace for about 36 this season if he can manage to continue at his current rate.
Washington's Mikhail Grabovski sent the game to overtime by getting his stick on a loose puck with 1:45 remaining in regulation, capping a back-and-forth third period that awoke the Verizon Center crowd after a sleepy start to the game.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 33 shots and Nick Holden scored his first NHL goal to break a second-period tie, lifting the Avalanche to a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday night.
The Coyotes gave the NHL's best power play far too many chances, didn't capitalize enough on the numerous chances they got and generally found ways to get in their own way until late in regulation. They still found a way to win it.
Joel Ward scored three goals for his first NHL hat trick in the fight-filled outburst. Ward's linemate, Jason Chimera, added a goal and three assists, and Nicklas Backstrom and Mikhail Grabovski each had three points.
Ovechkin netted his 10th goal in 10 games with 1:47 left in the first period. A faceoff deep in Oilers territory came back to the Washington captain, who put a quick wrist shot up high past goalie Devan Dubnyk.
Erat began play with 53 points in 57 regular-season games against Columbus — his highest point total against any team — and assisted on Washington's final three goals.
Say one thing for the Capitals as they continue to struggle at the start of the season: They are a perceptive bunch. They know the product they're putting on the ice right now is substandard.