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Stanley Cup Playoff
Latest Stanley Cup Playoff Items
After Tuesday night's 2-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington enters the final 15 games of its schedule in 11th place in the Eastern Conference and in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division.
Capitals stars Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom returned to Kettler Iceplex on Tuesday for their first practice with their NHL teammates as the league returns to action following a three-week Olympic break. But with a Stanley Cup playoff push looming, each man must find a way to quickly recover.
While five of their teammates compete at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the rest of the Capitals will spend 10 days resting, recovering and preparing for what should be a fierce fight for a Stanley Cup playoff spot.
After a pair of ugly losses over the weekend, Washington finally rectified the goalie situation by sending rookie Philipp Grubauer back to AHL Hershey. That leaves the crease once more to Braden Holtby, who entered the season as the team's No. 1, and Michal Neuvirth, who has also won a Stanley Cup playoff series.
The Capitals and top prospect Tom Wilson face a dilemma. At 6-foot-4 and 217 pounds now, Wilson appears physically ready for the NHL at just age 19. But if it's apparent during training camp in September that his game still needs seasoning then Wilson must get it in the Ontario Hockey League, where the best teenage players in North America ply their trade.
Braden Holtby didn't break much of a sweat in picking up his first career Stanley Cup playoff shutout Saturday. The Washington Capitals goaltender helped extend the New York Rangers' scoreless streak to 111 minutes and 16 seconds, but it wasn't like he had to do much to win Game 2
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.
Amid a 48-game season in which perhaps only three to five teams are out of playoff contention, Wednesday might not be as active a trading environment. It also doesn't help that a few big names are already gone.
Alex Ovechkin's goal late in the third period gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers, tying their Eastern Conference semifinal series at a game apiece.