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Joel Ward, Game 5 and the New York Rangers. That combination, before Friday night, was synonymous with missed opportunity and disappointment for the Washington Capitals. This year’s script was different, though. Friday night’s had a happy ending. As Ward glided toward his teammates to celebrate the Caps’ 2-1 overtime victory at Verizon Center, he was redeemed.
Martin Erat won't be in the Washington Capitals' lineup for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Friday night against the New York Rangers after suffering an apparent left wrist or forearm injury in Game 4.
The 29-year-old skated for more than an hour Wednesday but was limited. Laich hasn't played since aggravating a groin injury April 4 and said he had skated a few times before Wednesday and was "unsure" on a timeline.
Washington again failed to take a 3-0 series lead, a feat that has never been accomplished in 21 playoff series in franchise history. Instead, the Rangers have life going into Game 4 Wednesday night.
Joel Ward returned for Game 1 of the Caps' Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers after missing the final nine regular-season games with a bruised left knee.
After a victory late in the regular season that included two goals by Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom was asked if it felt like the "good old days" when the franchise cornerstones powered a high-scoring team. "It depends how it is in the playoffs," he said. "And we weren't that successful in the playoffs in the past."
The Capitals' reputation as a team that can't get it done in the playoffs is well-established. Here's a look at how each playoff exit happened, with some help from ex-coach Bruce Boudreau.
Adam Oates walked into the locker room after the Washington Capitals' final regular-season game Saturday night and told captain Alex Ovechkin he wanted to meet with players after they spoke to reporters. The coach wanted to make sure his guys were prepared to face the New York Rangers in the playoffs beginning Tuesday. The only problem is the Caps and Rangers' Eastern Conference quarterfinal series starts Thursday, not Tuesday, throwing the variable of extra rest into the equation.
With the simplest of sentences, NBA veteran Jason Collins set aside years of worry and silence to become the first active player in one of four major U.S. professional sports leagues to come out as gay.
Holtby will start the regular-season finale against the Boston Bruins as he and the Caps get into playoff pattern.
Karlsson needed slightly more than two months after the gruesome mid-February injury to return, and the reigning Norris Trophy-winning defenseman was in the Senators' lineup Thursday at the Washington Capitals.
Even though injury has limited Erat to seven games in a Caps uniform, his arrival meant everything within a locker room of an Eastern Conference contender.
The 35-year-old is the Caps' Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy nominee, as selected by the Washington chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The Masterton Trophy is awarded to the player "who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey."
Seven of Brouwer's 16 goals through 41 games have come on the power play. Most of those the 27-year-old right wing fired home from the right faceoff circle.
Ward hosted an advance screening of the movie "42" at Mazza Gallerie in Friendship Heights and gave a speech about what the number and Robinson meant to him.
Washington Capitals right wing Joel Ward (42) yells referee Brad Watson (23) after he received a cross-checking penalty in the third period of Game 6 of the Capitals 1-0 loss to the New York Rangers in their NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoff series in New York, Sunday, May 12, 2013.
"It's going to be a tough break for us, but we've won games before with the guys that we have here," right wing Joel Ward said. "So we're going to have to keep moving forward."