Alex Ovechkin

Ovechkin and Capitals stay hot, win seventh straight game beating Carolina 2-1

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Seems like it was just a few weeks ago we were lamenting the struggles of the Washington Capitals and how it appeared they were setting themselves and their fans up for more failure in the postseason.

Funny how things change as the Caps won their seventh straight game tonight beating Carolina 2-1 and once again it was captain Alex Ovechkin leading the charge for the team. Ovechkin’s goal 47 seconds into the third period tied the game at 1-1, providing the equalizer for Tuomo Ruutu’s goal late in the second period.

The momentum the Caps gained from Ovechkin’s 28th goal of the season carried them through the rest of the period and ultimately paid off when Matt Hendricks put home a rebound from a Jason Arnott shot at 7:24 of the third to provide the difference maker.

Rookie Braden Holtby was strong all night in goal for the Caps stopping 40 of 41 Hurricanes shots. For the 21 year-old, he’s helping make life pleasantly difficult for coach Bruce Boudreau in goal as the team has Michal Neuvirth healthy and playing for them as well and Semyon Varlamov struggling with injury and out of the lineup. Holtby’s play is proving to be an inspiration for the team and his quirky play is helping rally the fans as well.

The win moves Washington ahead of Tampa Bay in the Southeast Division by four points as the Lightning lost to Ottawa tonight. The Caps win coupled with the Bruins loss to the Islanders puts the Caps in second in the Eastern Conference by three points and just two points behind the Flyers for the top spot overall.

Carolina with the loss fails to gain ground on the Rangers and Sabres who are tied for seventh place in the East.

BREAKING: Carey Price’s composure

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 29:  Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens looks on during the third period of a game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on November 29, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Even the best goalie in the world – one who makes it look easy – can lose his cool sometimes.

(Heck, that used to be the domain of Patrick Roy, right?)

It was quite the sight on Thursday nonetheless: Carey Price absolutely lost his cool and went after Kyle Palmieri during the Montreal Canadiens’ game against the New Jersey Devils. You can watch that spectacle in the video above.

Palmieri received an interference penalty while Price received a roughing double-minor. Apparently fits of Price anger are rare:

By Hockey Reference’s numbers, Price has accrued 39 penalty minutes in 465 career regular season games and eight in 54 playoff contests before tonight’s outburst.

Video: John Tavares exhibits all-out-effort on this goal

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Sometimes it feels like John Tavares is alone on an island. Even during such grimmer times, there are moments where it seems like he can do it all by himself, anyway.

The New York Islanders have been quietly getting it back together lately (4-0-1 in their last five games), with Tavares averaging a point per contest during that span. Still, he’s obviously been getting some help lately.

If you want an “all by himself” moment, look no further than the goal above, where he just out-efforts everyone. It’s an unusual sight, although especially jaded people may just come to expect this type of thing from Tavares. He’s that great.

Niskanen will miss at least one game from that Bergeron hit

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However you feel about the hit Patrice Bergeron delivered on Matt Niskanen, the bottom line is that the Washington Capitals defenseman is hurt.

The Capitals consider the valuable blueliner day-to-day with an upper-body injury and noted that he won’t travel to Buffalo for Friday’s game against the Sabres.

That only tells us so much, as the Capitals will face the Vancouver Canucks at home in their next game after that on Sunday. If that’s all he ends up missing, that wouldn’t be too huge of an issue. CSN Mid-Atlantic notes that he’s played in every game (all 189) since joining the Capitals, so he’s been healthy so far in his stay with Washington.

Washington called up defenseman Aaron Ness to help give them some depth.

As you may recall, Bergeron received a two-minute boarding minor for the check in question.

Bruised Blackhawks will be without Seabrook, Toews vs. Rangers

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 13: Brent Seabrook #7 and Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks
celebrate a second period goal by Seabrook against the Anaheim Ducks at the United Center on February 13, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Scott Darling isn’t the only member of the Chicago Blackhawks who will be asked to step up with key players out of the lineup.

The Blackhawks have already ruled out Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews for Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, as CSN Chicago notes.

This will mark the eighth consecutive game Toews is missing, although the bright side is that Joel Quenneville didn’t dismiss the possibility of Chicago’s captain playing on Sunday.

Seabrook is considered day-to-day after being shaken up by this awkward spill from Wednesday:

A few days ago, Patrick Kane called upon others to step up with Toews out. That message can now apply to Chicago’s defensemen with Seabrook banged up.