T.J. Oshie

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NBC Sports presents Hockey Week in America

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As we wait for the NHL to return, NBC Sports will be filling your hockey fix this week with Hockey Week in America on NBCSN. We’ll be reliving some of the top games and moments from the last decade, including Stanley Cup clinchers, Game 7 overtime thrillers, outdoor games, memorable playoff performances, and the very best of the Sidney CrosbyAlex Ovechkin rivalry.

NBCSN will feature 12 hours of hockey programming from March 23 through March 26 from 3 p.m. ET – 3 a.m. ET with each night focusing on a specific theme. From March 27 through March 29, NBCSN will showcase seven hours of hockey programming in primetime from 8 p.m. ET – 3 a.m. ET.

Here are themes for each day of Hockey Week in America:

Monday, March 23: Game 7 overtime thrillers
Tuesday, March 24: Notable playoff rivalry games
Wednesday, March 25: NHL outdoor games
Thursday, March 26: Stanley Cup Final clinching games
Friday, March 27: Notable playoff performances
Saturday, March 28: Sidney Crosby-Alex Ovechkin playoff showdowns
Sunday, March 29: Game 7 overtime thrillers

Programming will also stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Monday, March 23: Game 7 overtime thrillers

NBCSN will present four notable Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 7 overtime matchups from the past decade, beginning at 3 p.m. ET. These matchups include the Bruins unlikely third-period comeback against the Maple Leafs in the opening round in 2013 and Alec Martinez’ OT game-winner to send the Kings to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.

• Capitals vs. New York Rangers (2015 Round 2) – 3 p.m. ET
• Kings vs. Blackhawks (2014 Western Conference Final) – 5 p.m. ET
• Maple Leafs vs. Bruins (2013 Round 1) – 7 p.m. ET
• Golden Knights vs. Sharks (2019 Round 1) – 9 p.m. ET
• Maple Leafs vs. Bruins (2013 Round 1) – 11 p.m. ET
• Kings vs. Blackhawks (2014 Western Conference Final) – 1 a.m. ET

Tuesday, March 24: Notable playoff rivalry games

NBCSN will showcase four memorable playoff rivalry games beginning at 3 p.m. ET. These matchups include Game 3 of the 2012 Penguins-Flyers, which saw a combined 12 goals and more than 150 combined penalty minutes, as well as Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Final between the Rangers and Devils that sent New Jersey to the Stanley Cup Final.

• Kings vs. Sharks (2014 Round 1, Game 7) – 3 p.m. ET
• N.Y. Rangers vs. Devils (2012 Eastern Conference Final, Game 6) – 5 p.m. ET
• Penguins vs. Flyers (2012 Round 1, Game 3) – 7 p.m. ET
• Blackhawks vs. Blues (2014 Round 1, Game 2) – 9 p.m. ET
• N.Y. Rangers vs. Devils (2012 Eastern Conference Final, Game 6) – 11 p.m. ET
• Penguins vs. Flyers (2012 Round 1, Game 3) – 1 a.m.

Wednesday, March 25: NHL outdoor games

NBC Sports will present four NHL outdoor games, including this year’s Winter Classic on New Year’s Day between the Stars and Predators at 6 p.m. and 12 a.m. ET. Wednesday’s programming is highlighted by the inaugural Winter Classic featuring the Penguins and Sabres at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y, in 2008, at 8 p.m. ET, as Sidney Crosby punctuated the event with his shootout goal in the snow. Wednesday’s coverage continues at 10 p.m. ET with the Maple Leafs-Red Wings 2014 Winter Classic, which was also played in the snow in front of 100,000-plus fans at Michigan Stadium.

• 2019 Stadium Series: Penguins vs. Flyers – 3 p.m. ET
Wired: Stadium Series – Penguins vs. Flyers (2019) – 5 p.m. ET
• 2008 Winter Classic: Penguins vs. Sabres – 6 p.m. ET
• 2020 Winter Classic: Predators vs. Stars – 8 p.m. ET
• 2014 Winter Classic: Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings – 10 p.m. ET
• 2020 Winter Classic: Predators vs. Stars – 12 a.m. ET
Road to 2020 Winter Classic – 2 a.m. ET

Thursday, March 26: Stanley Cup Final clinching games

Four Stanley Cup clinching games will be presented on NBCSN, including the Capitals’ first-ever Stanley Cup in 2018, the beginning of the Blackhawks’ dynasty with their 2010 Stanley Cup victory, and an iconic Stanley Cup Final Game 7 from 2009 between the Penguins and Red Wings.

• Penguins vs. Red Wings (2009 Game 7) – 3 p.m. ET
• Blackhawks vs. Flyers (2010 Game 6) – 5 p.m. ET
• Blackhawks vs. Bruins (2013 Game 6) – 7 p.m. ET
• Capitals vs. Golden Knights (2018 Game 5) – 9 p.m. ET
• Penguins vs. Red Wings (2009 Game 7) – 11 p.m. ET
• Blackhawks vs. Flyers (2010 Game 6) – 1 a.m. ET

Friday, March 27: Notable playoff performances

Three notable individual Stanley Cup Playoffs performances will be showcased on NBCSN including John Tavares leading the Islanders to a playoff series win in 2016 for the first time in 23 years, Ben Bishop’s 52 saves in a Game 7 that nearly derailed the Blues’ 2019 Stanley Cup run and Patrick Kane’s series-clinching hat trick to send Chicago to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

• Panthers vs. Islanders (2016 Round 1, Game 6) – 8 p.m. ET
• Stars vs. Blues (2019 Round 2, Game 7) – 10 p.m. ET
• Kings vs. Blackhawks (2013 Western Conference Final, Game 5) – 12 a.m. ET
Gamechangers: All-Time Greats – 2 a.m. ET
Top 10: All-Time Records – 2:30 a.m. ET

Saturday, March 28: Sidney Crosby-Alex Ovechkin playoff showdowns

The rivalry between Crosby and Ovechkin will be on full display for seven hours on NBCSN on Saturday, with three of their most memorable playoff matchups: the “dueling hat trick” game in 2009 will air at 8 p.m. ET, followed by a pair of OT series clinchers in 2016 and 2018. In all three instances, the winner of these series went on to win the Stanley Cup.

• Penguins vs. Capitals (2009 Round 2, Game 2) – 8 p.m. ET
• Capitals vs. Penguins (2016 Round 2, Game 6) – 10 a.m. ET
• Capitals vs. Penguins (2018 Round 2, Game 6) – 12:30 a.m. ET

Sunday, March 29: Game 7 overtime and Olympic thrillers

• USA vs. Canada (2018 Olympic women’s hockey gold medal game) – 1 p.m. ET on NBC
• Maple Leafs vs. Bruins (2013 Round 1) – 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN
• Golden Knights vs. Sharks (2019 Round 1) – 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN
• Kings vs. Blackhawks (2014 Western Conference Final) 12 a.m. ET on NBCSN
Wired: Stadium Series – Kings vs. Avalanche (2020) – 2 a.m. ET on NBCSN

Wednesday Night Hockey: Will Flyers win Metropolitan Division?

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

If there was ever going to be a race at the top of the Metropolitan Division standings, it was supposed to be between the Capitals and Penguins. Well, things haven’t exactly materialized that way lately. The Caps are very much in the mix, but the Flyers have jumped into the race.

The Flyers are just three points behind the Caps for the division crown thanks to a six-game winning streak. They’ll have a chance to cut that down to one point tonight.

“Everyone on the team has bought into the new systems, the new approach that our coaching staff has brought to us,” forward Travis Konecny said. “And it’s been awesome seeing the top guys doing whatever they can to win games.”

The experienced coaching staff the Flyers assembled with Alain Vigneault, Michel Therrien and Mike Yeo has come through for them in their first year. They’ve also watched as young players like Konecny have turned into stars.

The 22-year-old has 23 goals and 60 points in 62 games this season, but he’s also been ripping it up during this six-game win streak. Konecny has put up 12 points during the streak and it doesn’t look like he’s about to slow down either.

“I’ve learned a lot from [Giroux] on the ice and off the ice,” added Konecny. “When I see him coming to the rink every day… I’m sore. I’m not putting in the effort. But he’s already stretched out, doing a workout and pushing sleds… I’m thinking if my captain can be doing that, working that hard, then everyone else on the team should be doing the same thing.”

There’s two reasons why the Flyers have been able to close the gap between themselves and the Capitals. Clearly, they’ve been doing a lot of winning of their own. They’ve also benefitted from Washington’s recent slide.

Since losing, 7-2, to the Flyers on home ice on Feb. 8, the Caps have a 4-6-1 record. Every teams is going to go through ups and downs over the course of an 82-game season, but they need to stop the slide soon if they want to avoid finishing second or third in the Metro. Veterans like Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, John Carlson and others should be able to stop the bleeding.

“The more experience you can have, the better,” Oshie said. “Especially when times get tough. When you have older guys — when things aren’t going your way — that aren’t freaking out and they are keeping their cool, it makes it very hard for the young guys not to follow that, so it’s important… I like our veteran leadership going into the playoffs here.”

After tonight’s game, the Capitals will play three road games against the Rangers, Penguins and Sabres over five days. Once that road trip is completed next week, they’ll have two home dates against the Red Wings and Blackhawks. It’s crucial that they come up with a good amount of points during this stretch.

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

WATCH LIVE: Capitals visit Wild on NBCSN

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with Sunday’s matchup between the Washington Capitals and Minnesota Wild. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

This is the first of two meetings between these teams this season, facing each other again in Washington on April 2. The Wild won their last meeting against the Caps in March of last season, having lost eight straight games against Washington prior to that win.

Washington is coming off a 3-0 loss at Winnipeg on Thursday, just the second time the Caps have been shut out in this season (3-0 loss at CBJ on Dec 16). Minnesota has won five of their last six games and are currently riding a three-game winning streak. They have scored five-plus goals in each of their last three wins (17 goals total) and are coming off a 5-0 win at Columbus on Friday night. Their 17 goals scored are tied most in a three-game span in franchise history (April 2009).

While the Capitals have 21 road wins this season (second most in NHL) they have lost four straight on the road, being outscored 12-5 in that span. After starting the season 10-1-1 in their first 12 road games, the Caps have fallen back down to earth, now 11-9-0 in their last 20 on the road.

Kevin Fiala leads the Wild with 47 points this season and has had three straight multi-point games. After scoring just nine goals in his first 46 games this season, Fiala now has 10 goals in his last 13. With 19 goals on the year, Fiala is set to hit the 20-goal mark for just the second time in his career (23 goals for Nashville in 2017-18)

After facing Washington, the Wild host the Predators on Tuesday, who currently sit one point above Minnesota in the West. They then go on a three-game California road trip against the three worst teams in the Western Conference.

[COVERAGE BEGINS AT 8 P.M. ET ON NBCSN]

WHAT: Washington Capitals at Minnesota Wild
WHERE: Xcel Energy Center
WHEN: Sunday, March 1, 8 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Capitals-Wild stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

CAPITALS
Alex OvechkinEvgeny KuznetsovTom Wilson
Jakub VranaNicklas BackstromT.J. Oshie
Carl HagelinLars EllerIlya Kovalchuk
Richard PanikNic DowdGarnet Hathaway

Brenden DillonJohn Carlson
Dmitry OrlovMichal Kempny
Jonas SiegenthalerNick Jensen

Starting goalie: Braden Holtby

WILD
Gerald Mayhew – Eric Staal – Kevin Fiala
Zach PariseJoel Eriksson EkJordan Greenway
Marcus FolignoAlex GalchenyukMats Zuccarello
Ryan DonatoMikko KoivuRyan Hartman

Ryan SuterJared Spurgeon
Jonas BrodinMatt Dumba
Brad HuntGreg Pateryn

Starting goalie: Alex Stalock

Gord Miller and Pierre McGuire will call the action from Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. Kathryn Tappen will host Sunday night’s studio coverage alongside analysts Anson Carter and Mike Johnson.

Capitals storm back to beat Penguins, regain top spot in Metropolitan

Capitals
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It still probably wasn’t the exact way they want to play, but the Washington Capitals found a way to end their four-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon. Thanks to a four-goal third period they were able to rally for a 5-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins to regain the top spot in the Metropolitan Division.

Washington now sits in sole possession of first place in the division with 82 points, two points ahead of Pittsburgh.

The Penguins still have one game in hand while the two teams will meet two more times this season with both games in Pittsburgh.

In the end, this was a gutsy win for Washington. Despite being outshot 36-23 and struggling to find much sustained offensive zone time, they still managed to cause enough havoc around the Pittsburgh net and feasted on a couple of glaring mistakes by the Penguins in the third period.

After Patric Hornqvist and Sidney Crosby scored two goals less than 30 seconds apart in the second period, the Penguins entered the third period holding a 2-1 lead. But Washington quickly struck for a pair of goals early in the third period.

Tom Wilson scored the equalizer on a breakaway following a brutal turnover by Pittsburgh’s Marcus Pettersson.

Carl Hagelin responded moments later when he scored on a net-front scramble in front of Penguins goalie Matt Murray to help the Capitals regain the lead.

The Penguins seemed to steal momentum back thanks to a highlight reel goal from Evgeni Malkin, but a T.J. Oshie goal just a few minutes later ended up being the game-winner. Hagelin added an empty-net goal (his second goal of the game) in the final minute.

A few other takeaways from this game:

1. It might get lost in the madness that was the third period, but Braden Holtby played a great game in net for the Capitals. He did give up the three goals, but two of them were great individual efforts from two of the best players in the world (Sidney Crosby and Malkin) and, well, sometimes that is just going to happen. That also should not take away from how strong he was overall. He stood tall on a couple of Penguins power play opportunities, while also shutting down a handful of odd-man rushes. His overall production has rapidly declined the past couple of years but he is still capable of getting hot and taking over a game.

2. Malkin’s third period goal will not be showing up on John Carlson‘s Norris Trophy highlight reel this season, but it was still a big day for the Capitals’ defenseman on Sunday. His assist on Hagelin’s first goal was the 475th point of his career, making him the highest scoring defenseman in Capitals franchise history, passing Calle Johansson.

3. As for the Penguins, this is their third consecutive loss and it is becoming obvious that the injury situation is finally starting to catch up to them defensively. There is not a single trade that general manager Jim Rutherford can make before Monday’s trade deadline (3 p.m. ET) that will do more to help the team than the return of injured players Brian Dumoulin, John Marino, Dominik Kahun, and Zach Aston-Reese. That quartet represents two of their top-four defenseman (perhaps their two best defensive defensemen) and two outstanding defensive forwards. That is a lot to overcome, and it is not a coincidence that their injuries have coincided with a downward trend in their defensive performance.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

NHL stars praise Alex Ovechkin as he hits 700 career goals

There’s a new member of the 700-goal club and his name is Alex Ovechkin. At 4:50 of the third period against the Devils on Saturday, the Capitals captain fired one by Mackenzie Blackwood to reach the historic mark.

Ovechkin scored goal No. 699 in an OT loss to the Canadiens after five straight games without a point. No. 8 controlled a rolling puck after Nicklas Backstrom won a faceoff cleanly in the offensive zone, then fired a wrist shot past Carey Price.

The Washington Capitals captain is now the eighth member of the exclusive NHL club. He joins Mike Gartner (708), Phil Esposito (717), Marcel Dionne (731), Brett Hull (741), Jaromir Jagr (766), Gordie Howe (801), and Wayne Gretzky (894).

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Ovechkin has been doing this since he broke in the league in 2005 and his peers continue to marvel at his goal-scoring exploits.

NBC Sports recently sat down with T.J. Oshie, Patrick Kane, Eric Staal, Sidney Crosby, David Pastrnak, Max Pacioretty, Nathan MacKinnon, and John Carlson to talk about Ovechkin’s career and his pursuit of Gretzky’s all-time record.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.