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Saturday Caps Clips: Capitals vs. Islanders Game Day

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Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: Previews of today's matinee against the Isles, celebrating the magic that is Nick Backstrom, and more.

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Your savory breakfast links:

  • The League's quietest superstar got a loud (and long overdue) ovation yesterday after jumping into a tie for the point-scoring lead. [RinkWaPoTSNESPN (and again), Pressbox DCBarstool Sports]
  • If you're looking for a key to the Caps' line combinations, look no further than the ones employed by the team five years ago. [Rink]
  • Previews of today's Metropolitan melee against the Islanders from VogsNHL.comAPPeerless, the Islanders, and Eyes on Isles, and be sure to visit our always awesome SB Nation pals over at Lighthouse Hockey for the other side of today's matchup.
    • Looks like the Caps won't be facing former teammate Mikhail Grabovski, who is on IR with an upper-body injury and might be out for a while. [NewsdayNY PostIslanders Point Blank]
    • Congratulations to (former Islander) Jack Hillen, who will appear in his 300th career game today. [Gazette]
  • News and notes from yesterday's practice:
    • In general. [Monumental video (TrotzBackstromRinkside update/Johansson), Caps OT (TrotzBackstromNiskanen leads stretchespractice)]
    • Early in the season, the Caps had trouble holding a lead; they've worked on it, and over the last month or so it's become an area of strength. [WaPo]
    • The Caps are hoping that the ongoing rotation of top-line right wingers will help them to be flexible if needed in the future. [WaPo]
    • Regardless of who skates with them, the Caps are being powered by the two-headed monster that is Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. [THN]
    • Sometimes fans and media from other teams question why penalty-killers don't just shadow Ovechkin. Well.. this is why. [CSNW]
    • Jay Beagle has a recipe for staying in shape during the rigorous hockey season - literally. But don't ask what's in it, because he's not sharing it. [WaPo]
  • Following yesterday's practice, several members of the team took part in some community activities, with Tom Wilson and Michael Latta skating with some kids out at Ashburn Ice House... [Caps OT]
  • ...while Barry Trotz, Aaron Volpatti and Andre Burakovsky helped out with the Extreme Recess hockey clinic at Kettler. [Caps OT (TrotzVolpatti/Burakovsky)]
  • After missing the last six weeks with a shoulder injury, Nate Schmidt is eyeing a return sooner rather than later. [Stars and Sticks]
  • Former Caps' assistant coach Bob Woods revealed that Bruce Boudreau didn't always have free rein in how he handled his superstar captain (but did admit that Ovechkin has become more responsible). [WaPoThe Star-Phoenix]
  • Check in with Marco Perruzza (better known to Twitterers as the awesome @Hope_Smoke) to hear more talk about how great Alex Ovechkin is... because it just never gets old. [How About Some Hockey Talk? (podcast)]
  • The NHL finally joined the rest of the web's hockey community and launched it's new and improved stats page - now with more advanced analytics. [NHL.com (and more), WaPo]
  • Stunning new research to uncover the truth behind Alex Ovechkin's follicle-related taunt of Ryan Getzlaf. [Battle of California]
  • Wanted: a top-six forward. [Stars and Sticks]
  • They might want to look at that, but what options are available to them as we head towards trade deadline day? [CSNW]
  • After trading away netminder Jhonas Enroth, the Sabres may be looking for a bit more depth in the goaltending pipeline... and the Caps might have the answer. [Two in the Box]
  • They've gone head to head for over a decade... so have we come to a decision on whether Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin is the face of the NHL? [Blog So Hard Sports]
  • Checking in on Caps' prospect and University of Minnesota senior Travis Boyd. [Stars and Sticks]
  • An impressive 13-game point streak has come to the end for the Hershey Bears, as they lost in regulation for the first time since January 11 last night. [Patriot-News]
  • Some Caps fans are furious over seeing their season-ticket prices increase 150%. Gee, now why would something like that make you mad? [WaPo]