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Wednesday Caps Clips: Chasing the Champs

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Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: Recaps of last night's blanking of LA, Nathan Walker's season cut short and more.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Your savory breakfast links:

  • Recaps and other assorted musings on last night's win over the champs from usVogs, Monumental video (TrotzSutterBrouwer, HoltbyGreenVolpattiKings' locker roomhighlights), NHL.comAPPHT, WaPo (gamerblog), WashTimesCSNWLA TimesPeerlessFrankovicStars and Sticks, RMNB, DSP (recapthree stars), and Jewels from the Crown.
    • Big night for Troy Brouwer, who was appearing in his 500th career game (and celebrated with a couple of goals). [Caps OT, CSNW (and again)]
    • His shutout last night was just another awesome performance for Braden Holtby, who has given up just one goal in his last three (and none in regulation). [CSNW]
    • And there's this, from Elias: Washington's Braden Holtby posted his sixth shutout of the season (and third in his last seven games) with a 4-0 victory over the Kings. The only other goaltenders in Capitals history to record at least six shutouts in one season are Jim Carey (nine in 1995-96) and Olaf Kolzig (six in 2001-02). Holtby's win on Tuesday was only the third shutout in the last 22 seasons by a Capitals goaltender against the defending Stanley Cup champion. The other Washington netminders with a shutout versus a Cup holder since 1992-93 are Kolzig (March 19, 2002 at Colorado) and Jaroslav Halak (April 11, 2014 vs. Chicago).
  • It's a thin line between winning and losing, and a lot of the time that line is between the pipes. [Rink]
  • News and notes from yesterday's pregame skate:
    • In general. [Monumental video (TrotzBrouwerOvechkinVolpattiRinkside Update/Ward), Dump 'n Chase]
    • With a 1-4-2 record over the last seven games, it was as good a time as any for Barry Trotz to shuffle up his lines. [Rink, CSNW]
    • One of those changes involved moving Marcus Johansson back up to the top line alongside Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, a role with which he's pretty familiar. [WaPoCSNW]
    • A closer look at the last guy to occupy that top-line spot... top-line winger Jay Beagle. [DSP]
    • It also meant that Aaron Volpatti, fresh off of surgery and months on long-term injured reserve, was set to make his season debut. [WaPoWashTimes]
    • Karl Alzner tries to do what many of us are having a hard time doing - explain the recent slump. [WaPo]
    • The Kings got to town a bit early for this one, and paid a visit to President Obama at the White House to celebrate their second Stanley Cup in three years. [PHTLA Times, Inquisitr]
      • And because it's fun, take this quiz to decide who said it - Kings' coach Darryl Sutter, or Vice President Joe Biden? [WaPo]
  • The race to clinch a playoff spot might be widening, but things at the top of the Metropolitan Division are starting to get cozy (as is the race for the Richard). [Yahoo!]
  • Check out Clyde's shots from Sunday's game against the Blues. Because the outcome may not have been so great, but the pictures always are. [Rink]
  • David Backes probably didn't deserve more than the five and a game he picked up for his hit on Alzner Sunday afternoon... but he doesn't seem to think he deserved even that. [Puck Daddy]
  • After yet another loss with Justin Peters in net, maybe the Caps should look into bringing Philipp Grubauer back to the NHL. [Starsand Sticks]
  • A few reasons why the Caps - yes, these Caps - could make a serious playoff run this spring... []
  • ...and three words to describe why they (and the 29 other teams) can and can't win it all this year. [WIIM]
  • They may need to do it without Mike Green, who continues to be the center of trade speculation. [ESPN ($), THW
  • Forget about trading Green; let's look into moving Brooks Laich for Mike Richards!, something other than that. [Caps Outsider]
  • Today in "Alex Ovechkin is awesome" news: Alex Ovechkin is awesome. [NHL.comThe NationalSportsnetTHW]
  • Reflecting back on when the Skipjacks - led by head coach Barry Trotz - departed Baltimore. [Rink (Fanpost)]
  • Tough luck for Caps' prospect Nathan Walker, who tore his ACL while down with the Stingrays and will undergo season-ending knee surgery. Ugh. [Patriot-News (with more here and here)]
  • The Caps are teaming up with Dreams for Kids DC for their 5th Annual Extreme Recess on February 20th, a free clinic at Kettler for kids of all ages and abilities. [WUSA9]
  • The incredible story of Val James, who became the first black American to play in the NHL... 24 years after Willie O'Ree first broke the color barrier. [Vice Sports]
  • Hyattsville resident and former pro hockey player Boe Leslie will head to Mongolia at the end of the month to help grow hockey in the unlikeliest of places. []
  • Finally, happy 71st birthday to Gary Smith, happy 46th to Joe Sacco, and happy 29th to Steve Oleksy.