Capitals Ups and Downs: Week 26

Our weekly look at individual Washington Capitals' ups and downs:

Goalies Trend Notes
Michal Neuvirth Got two of the three starts this week and didn't look completely comfortable in either one, giving up seven goals on 61 shots (including some soft goals, particularly against the Sabres) for a combined GAA of 3.36 and a save percentage of .897. 
Semyon Varlamov http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Was better in his second game back from injury (and got a bit more run support) against the Hurricanes, but let in another softie that even he admits he needs to have and wasn't stellar in the shootout. This goalie controversy was more fun when both were playing well, wasn't it?
Defensemen
Karl Alzner On the ice for six of the nine goals allowed this week and has now been on the ice for more goals-against (11) than anyone except Wideman (13) since the deadline.
John Carlson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png The Caps scored eleven goals this week and Carlson was on for six of them, which led the team. Even better? He scored or assisted on five of those six goals and finished the week with a plus-three rating. A stellar week overall...but in the future, he should probably avoid scoring the go-ahead goal for the other team the way he did on Saturday. Just a thought.
John Erskine http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Skated just over eighteen minutes this week thanks to an injury in the Columbus game that may or may not have been caused by a fight with Jared Boll. Even if it wasn't a result of that tilt, however, given the state of the Caps' blue line right now he probably was better off abstaining. 
Mike Green http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Seems to be making some progress in his return to the lineup, taking part in his first full practice on Friday (albeit a light, optional one) and still hoping to get back before the end of the regular season. At this point we'll settle for him getting back in the playoffs, just get healthy.
Scott Hannan http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Logged over twenty-six minutes of ice time in two of the three games, looked solid when paired up with Jeff Schultz on Saturday and blocked ten shots...but was also on for both Carolina goals and took a minor penalty in two of the three games. He now has penalties in three of his last five outings, which is something to keep an eye on for a guy who doesn't spend that much time in the sin bin.
Tom Poti http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Continues to practice with the team, continues to be out of the lineup. We're at the point where reporters and fans alike are forgetti-...wait, didn't we say that last week?
Jeff Schultz http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png That dwindling ice time shot back up this week as the injuries to blueliners continued to multiply, including a career-high 26:35 against Columbus.
Tyler Sloan http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Was back in the lineup after Wideman's injury and dinged for a goal-against in the Columbus game...then left Saturday's action against Buffalo with an injury of his own. According to Boudreau, he's day-to-day after "getting his bell rung". 
Dennis Wideman http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Played just over twelve minutes on Tuesday night before getting tangled up with Carolina's Tuomo Ruutu and leaving the game. Afterwards he was termed "day-to-day", which quickly ramped up to "week-to-week", and then ramped up even further to "out indefinitely" after he was hospitalized with Compartment Syndrome. A scary injury, indeed, and we hope for his speedy recovery.
Sean Collins http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Got the call to DC after Erskine's injury and skated an uneventful fourteen minutes on Saturday, but with Tyler Sloan being the latest casualty of the Blueline Curse it looks like he might be around awhile. 
Forwards
Jason Arnott http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Five of his seven points as a Cap have come on game-tying or game-winning goals, including two in the final minute of games to force overtime. His late power play strike Saturday night (the second PPG since his arrival in DC) not only tied up the game but also put him at 400 for his career. Congrats, Jason!
Nicklas Backstrom http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Tore it up in the faceoff circle, winning 26 of his 46 draws on the week, and capped off a solid three-game stretch in which he was on for just one goal-against (while on the PK) with three assists against the Sabres - his first game with at least three points since February 4. Seemed to find some nice chemistry with Sturm and Semin, as well.
Jay Beagle http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png For the first time in a long time the Caps have a healthy group of forwards, leaving Beagle the odd-man out for now.
Matt Bradley Brads hasn't been on the ice for a Caps' goal since March 6 (13 games) and doesn't have a point since Valentine's Day. Not everything a player does shows up on the scoresheet, but something should.
Jason Chimera http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png A healthy scratch against the Hurricanes and none too pleased about it, he jumped back into the lineup with a vengeance against his old team Thursday night, scoring the overtime game-winner and adding an assist for good measure.
Eric Fehr http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png A quiet twelve minutes on Tuesday, a healthy scratch on Thursday, a slightly more active twelve minutes on Saturday. It'll be interesting to see if this is just a way to rest the oft-injured winger down the stretch or if he's actually back in Boudreau's doghouse.
Boyd Gordon http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Led all Caps with almost five minutes of penalty-killing time in Tuesday's bizarrely officiated game, and wasn't on the ice for the only power play goal the team gave up (or for Buffalo's PPG, for that matter). Won 25 of the 41 draws he took (61%).
Matt Hendricks http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Had a couple of quiet games before having his number called in the healthy scratch lottery Saturday night.
Marcus Johansson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Reunited with Alexander Semin and Laich, he got back to his goal-scoring ways with a beauty against Carolina but struggled a bit when bumped back up to the top line against Buffalo and was on for three of the seven goals the team allowed in the last two games of the week.
D.J. King http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Kept Mike Green company in the press box this week...but hey, he's on Twitter now!
Mike Knuble http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Was on for six of the nine goals allowed this week and has now been on the ice for more goals-against (10) than any other forward since the deadline...but has also been on the ice for more goals-for (20) than any other forward other than Ovechkin (22), including the three he scored this week. 
Brooks Laich http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Had at least a point in each of the three games, finishing with four assists - two of which he picked up Thursday night despite logging his lowest ice time (13:51) since November 7.
Alex Ovechkin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Looked understandably rusty at first (but energetically so) in his return to the lineup, going from a pointless game to a one-assist game to a three-point night that included an overtime winner - and added yet another awesome goal celebration to his ever-growing repertoire.
Alexander Semin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Picked up a nice goal and an assist against Carolina but a horrible offensive-zone penalty resulted in his rear end being stapled to the bench in overtime. Followed it up with a quieter but less frustrating game on Thursday, and another two point night on Saturday. However, one of the more notable aspects about his play this week is how he got his two goals: going to the front of the net, very un-Semin-esque - and very welcome.
Marco Sturm http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Whatever offensive spark he found last week when he picked up his first goal as a Cap seems to have died out a bit this week - but he did get assists in back-to-back games and fired a season-high five shots on Jhonas Enroth in Saturday's OT win, and the defensive side of his game continues to be solid.

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