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Caps Today, 10/9/17

October 9, 2017
The Capitals face the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first of three meetings this season. Washington posted a 2-0-1 record against Tampa Bay last season and has a 19-5-4 record against the Lightning since the 2010-11 season. The Capitals hold an all-time record of 77-31-6-8 against the Lightning. Last season, Nicklas Backstrom led the team with seven points (1g, 6a) against the Lightning, while John Carlson and T.J. Oshie's three goals led the team. Washington has earned a point in four-straight away games against Tampa Bay (2-0-1).

Through two games, Evgeny Kuznetsov has seven assists, the highest mark in the NHL. Kuznetsov has recorded multi-assist efforts in two-straight games, including a four assist effort against the Montreal Canadiens. Since the 2015-16 season, Kuznetsov has 22 multi-assist games, tied for fifth in the NHL. Since making his debut on March 3, 2010, Kuznetsov has 189 points (53g, 136a) in 263 games. In 10 career games against the Lightning, Kuznetsov has five points (1g, 4a).

MEDIA

Tuesday, 8:40 a.m.: Jay Beagle on The Sports Junkies, 106.7 The Fan

Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.: John Carlson on Chad Dukes vs. The World, 106.7 The Fan

TOP GAME NOTES

Successful Joey - Australian-national Nathan Walker became the first Australian to play in the NHL when he took the ice Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens, scoring a goal in his debut game. The Sydney, Australia, native became the first Australian drafted to the NHL after Washington selected him in the third round, 89th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft. The rookie has represented Australia at the 2011 IIHF World Championship Division II tournament and at the 2012 World Championship Division 1 Group B tournament. Walker registered 23 points (11g, 12a) in 58 games with the Hershey Bears (AHL) during the 2016-17 season. In the 201516 season, Walker was named Hershey's 2016 Man of the Year, Unsung Hero and Most Improved Player.

Road Success - Entering this season, Washington has the most road wins in the NHL over the last two seasons (50) and the most points (110). Additionally, Washington ranks first in total road goals over the last two seasons (249) and fourth in the fewest goals against (208). Nicklas Backstrom led the Capitals last season in road points with 37 (9g, 28a), which ranked 10th in the NHL

Familiar Foe - Prior to joining the Capitals on July 1, 2016, Brett Connolly spent four seasons with the Lightning. Drafted by Tampa Bay with the sixth-overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft, Connolly played in 134 games and recorded 32 points (18g, 14a). Since joining the Capitals, Connolly has 24 points (16g, 8a) in 68 games, including one goal this season. Connolly's goal was the team's first of the season.

Holtbeast - In 150 career away games, Braden Holtby has posted a 90-38-18 record with a .917 save percentage and a 2.49 goalsagainst average, ranking eighth and in respective categories among active goaltenders with 150 road games played. Additionally, Holtby is one of just four goaltenders to play at least 90 road games over the last three seasons (Tuukka Rask, Devan Dubnyk, Cory Schneider) and ranks first in wins (60), nine more wins than Dubnyk, who is second on the list with 51.

Tampa Possession Success - In three games last year, the Capitals had a shot attempts differential of +9 with a shot attempt percentage of 51.69% at five-on-five. Washington also won 98 of their 188 face-offs (52.13%) in Tampa's offensive zone at five-on-five, winning 34 of 62 of their face-offs (54.84%) in the neutral zone. Dmitry Orlov led all Capitals forwards in shot attempts differential last season at +13 (51 for, 38 against) at five-on-five against Tampa, while Ovechkin led all Capitals in total shots on goal (14).

Must Read/See/Hear Material

Dump ‘n Chase: Caps Face Bolts in Tampa / POSTGAME NOTEBOOK: Caps 6, Habs 1

Washington Post: Alex Ovechkin got the message this summer. Now he’s sending one back. / Capitals’ Evgeny Kuznetsov has assisted on all seven of Alex Ovechkin’s goals

NBC Sports Washington: Sunday Capitals Practice Report: Praise for the penalty kill / NHL Power Rankings: Defense optional

NHL: Walker gets call from Australia’s prime minister after historic NHL debut

ABC.net.au: Nathan Walker becomes first Australian in NHL, scores debut goal for Washington Capitals

Blacktown Sun: Nathan Walker becomes first Australian NHL player, celebrates with goal

CBS DC: Australian Continent Elated for Capitals’ Rookie Debut

ESPN: Nathan Walker gets congratulatory call from Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull

Fox Sports: Lightning kick off three-game homestand against Capitals

Fox Sports Australia: Five burning questions following Aussie Nathan Walker’s spectacular NHL debut / Prime Minister Malcolm Tribute, Australian sporting greatest pays tribute to NHL pioneer Nathan Walker

NBC Sports: PHT Morning Skate: What’s a bit different about Ovechkin

Nine: Nathan Walker gets phone call from Malcolm Turnbull

Seven Sport: Walker makes history for Australia in NHL / Walker's awkward congratulatory chat with Turnbull

SportsNet: Capitals’ Nathan Walker gets phone call from Australian PM

Sporting News: Nathan Walker, NHL’s first Australian player, took long road to improbable debut

The Australian: Aussie ice hockey player hopes others will follow in path

The National Post: He's on pace for 287 goals: How Washington Capitals sniper Alex Ovechkin got his groove back

The Score: Nathan Walker gets congratulatory call from Australian PM

Washington Times: Australian Walker’s boyhood NHL dream is now a Capitals reality

The West Australian: G’day Nate: Australian Nathan Walker scores in dream NHL debut

Japer’s Rink: Monday Caps Clips: Capitals @ Lightning Game Day / Rink Rank: Capitals vs. Canadiens



TV/Audio Clips:

Washington Capitals: Walker Speaks With Turnbull / 2017 #RockTheRed Carpet Recap / Barry Trotz | October 8 / Rinkside Update | Smith-Pelly

BBC World: On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (2 p.m.)

Channel 7 Gold Coast (Queensland, AUS): On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (7 p.m.) / On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (7 a.m.) / On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (7 p.m.) / On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (9 a.m.)

CBC: On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (8 p.m.)

CNN International: On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (12 a.m.) / On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (5 a.m.) / On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (7 p.m.) / On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (12 a.m.) / On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (11 p.m.) / On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (4 p.m.) / On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (9 p.m.) / On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (5 p.m.) / On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (12 p.m.)

ESPN: Aussie Nathan Walker talks first NHL game, goal

ESPN 2: On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (6 a.m.) / On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (5 a.m.) / On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (4 a.m.) / On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (3 a.m.)

MSG: On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (9 p.m.)

NBC Sports Philadelphia: On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (5 p.m.)

Sportsnet.ca: ROGERS HOMETOWN HOCKEY: ALEX LUEY'S STORY OF PERSEVERANCE

TSN: Turnbull reaches out to Walker

WHTM-TV ABC 27: On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (6 a.m.)

WTTG-TV FOX 5: On the Caps Home Open and ALL CAPS (7 a.m.)

WTOP: On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player

WUSA-TV CBS 9: On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player (11 p.m.) / On Nathan Walker being the first Australian NHL player

Lightning Clips:

Canoe.com: Lightning's Brown first NHLer to protest during anthem

NBC Sports: J.T. Brown says he faced racist remarks, death threats after protesting anthem

Patch.com: Panthers Beat Tampa In Home Opener

Tampa Bay Times: As Lightning starts with defensive struggles, enter Alex Ovechkin




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