“We are very pleased to sign Karl Alzner to a contract extension,” Caps GM George McPhee said in a statement. “Karl is just entering his prime and has been a model of consistency for our organization since he entered the League.
“He plays tough and valuable minutes against some of the NHL’s top players every game.”
Alzner, 24, will carry an average annual cap hit of $2.8 million until the 2016-17 season.
The former WHL Calgary standout set a career-high for average time on ice per game (20:57) last season, upping it to 22:18 in the playoffs.
Washington’s No. 5 overall pick at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Alzner finished second on the team in blocked shots last year (85), fourth among all defensemen in hits (45).
He was in the final year of a two-year, $2.57 million deal.
Earlier this summer, McPhee shot down any notion of possibly losing Alzner to an RFA offer sheet, saying Washington would match anything given to Alzner or Washington’s other key RFA — forward Marcus Johansson.
The deal is a solid one from McPhee, who now has his two youngest blueline talents — Alzner and 23-year-old John Carlson — locked up for a combined $6.76 million per season until 2017.
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With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
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“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.