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Caps Today, 3/26/13

Today’s Storyline
The Washington Capitals return home from a four-game road trip to host the New York Islanders tonight.

Alex Ovechkin was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week for the week ending March 24. Ovechkin led the NHL with five goals and eight points in four games, stretching his season-long scoring streak to five games (six goals, three assists). He leads the Capitals and ranks tied for sixth in the league with 16 goals in 32 games this season and ranks second on Washington with 31 points. He currently leads the league in power-play goals and ranks 11th among all active players in career goals with the man advantage (121). Ovechkin ranks second in Capitals history in power-play goals, behind Peter Bondra (137).


Upcoming Media
Today, 12:45 p.m.: Alan May on The Sports Fix, ESPN 980 AM
Today, 6:15 p.m.: John Walton on LaVar and Dukes, FAN 106.7 FM
Thursday, 8:45 a.m.: Brooks Laich on The Sports Junkies, FAN 106.7 FM
Thursday, 8:45 a.m.: Troy Brouwer on Elliot in the Morning, DC 101.1 FM
Thursday, 4:15 p.m.: Braden Holtby on The Sports Reporters, ESPN 980 AM


Must Read/See/Hear Material Caps Look for Fourth Straight Win vs. Isles

Capitals Voice: Your Capitals Minute for Monday, March 25
Monumental Network: Braden Holtby 3/25/13 / Adam Oates 3/25/13 / Alex Ovechkin 3/25/13 / Rinkside Update 3/25/13 / Caps Red Line Episode 5 / Monumental Today 3/25/13

Washington Post: Hamilton: Washington Capitals have righted themselves – and need to keep winning / Mike Ribeiro contract situation leaves Washington Capitals with big decisions leading up to NHL trade deadline / Capitals Insider: Alex Ovechkin ‘king of the world’ after being ‘almost in the toilet’ / Capitals Insider: Thomas Boswell on why the Capitals should sign Mike Ribeiro to a long-term deal / Capitals Insider: Why the Caps should pass on long-term deal for Mike Ribeiro / Capitals Insider: Alex Ovechkin named NHL’s first star of the week / Capitals Insider: John Erskine, Tomas Kundratek and Tom Poti all make appearance at optional skate

Washington Times: Capitals’ Mike Ribeiro on the lookout for a ‘long-term’ contract / Capitals notes: Injured defensemen could be back soon / Strong road trip pushes Capitals closer to playoff position / Capitals Watch: Alex Ovechkin on roll, named NHL first star of week / Capitals Watch: Injured Caps defensemen skate at option practice

Washington Examiner: Capitals making do on the blue line / Capitals creep back into playoff race with shootout win over Rangers

CSN Washington: Capitals’ Kundratek, Erskine on the mend / Ovi to his critics: ‘You just forgot to flush me‘ / Should Caps trade Ribeiro or keep him? / Ovechkin First Star of the Week / Joe B: Caps edge Rangers in shootout

NHL: Islanders begin road trip against Capitals / Ovechkin answering critics with dominant stretch / Ovechkin showing signs of finding his old form

Associated Press: Islanders-Capitals Preview

CBS DC: Lo and Behold, Playoffs a Very Real Possibility for Capitals 

CBS Sports: On trade block, Mike Ribeiro would like to stay with Caps ‘long term’

Yahoo! Sports: Alex Ovechkin says we forgot to flush him down the toilet
Ted’s Take: Alex Ovechkin Wins First Star of the Week / “The Touch-Screen Generation” / The 20 Richest Musicians Of All Time / “Basketball Diplomacy From Mao to Yao” / 20 Years Later – Still A Digital Divide / Mrs. Pollin Remembers 35 Years Ago / Caps Red Line On The Air / Only Six More Home Games Remain For Wizards / Caps Win Shootout At MSG
Russian Machine Never Breaks: Michal Neuvirth’s New “Eagles of Washington” Mask / Happppppy Ovi: Photos of Alex Ovechkin Celebrating During the Caps Road Trip

Recent Transactions
March 23 Assigned Joey Crabb to Hershey
March 18 Recalled Dmitry Orlov from Hershey

Injury Update
D Tomas Kundratek – day-to-day
D John Erskine – day-to-day
D Tom Poti – day-to-day




Core values – Thursday March 21 at Winnipeg marked the first time this season the Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green and Brooks Laich have suited up in the same contest. The Capitals are 3-0-0 with all four players in the lineup, outscoring their opponents 12-3 in that span. Washington is 3-10 on the power play and 9-10 on the penalty kill in those three games and those four players have combined for eight goals and seven assists.


Swede success – Since returning to the lineup from injury, Marcus Johansson has tallied three goals and five assists in nine games, with seven of those eight points coming in his last six contests. Johansson ranks sixth in scoring from his 2009 draft class, having compiled 82 points in 167 career games.


Offense from the back end – John Carlson currently has a three-game point streak (three assists) heading into tonight’s game and has tallied seven points (one goal, six assists) in 13 games in the month of March. He leads all Capitals blueliners in points and goals this season.


An island by themselves – The Capitals are 13-3-1 in their last 17 games against the Islanders, 6-1-1 on home ice. In that span, Washington has outscored New York 57-46.


March forward – Braden Holtby has posted a 7-3-0 record with a 1.88 goals-against average, a .940 save percentage and two shutouts in 10 games played during the month of March. He recorded his 13th win of the season on March 24 at New York, extending a career-high for wins in a single season. Holtby won 10 games in 2010-11 and is one of just four goaltenders (Jim Carey, Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov) in Capitals history to post two or more seasons of 10 or more wins at the age of 23 or younger. Holtby’s 27 career wins rank him sixth in Capitals history among goaltenders originally drafted by Washington.