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Thursday Caps Clips: Round 2, Game 1 Game Day

Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: The Cap'n is an MVP finalist and bring on the Blueshirts!

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Your savory breakfast links:

  • Congratulations to Caps captain Alex Ovechkin, who has been named as a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy for the fifth time in his career. He will join fellow finalists John Tavares and Carey Price in Las Vegas later this summer to learn which of the three is the League MVP as "player judged most valuable to his team" for the 2014-2015 season. [NHL.com, Puck Daddy, WaPo, CSNW, RMNB]
  • Previews of Game One from Vogs (plus game notes), CSNW, S&S and NHL.com, and be sure to check out our SB Nation frenemies over at Blueshirt Banter for the other side of today's matchup. 
    • Injury updates:
    • In: New York defenseman Kevin Klein is expected to play in his first game since an Ovislapper broke his left arm in March. [Blueshirts United]
    • Out: Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello is out indefinitely with probable concussion, and Caps forward Eric Fehr is traveling with the team but not expected to play today. [WaPo]
  • Series previews for two all-too-familiar foes:
    • The uniforms are the same, but the teams aren't. [WaPo]
    • Physicality and special teams are the keys to this series. [Blueshirts United]
    • By the numbers. [Stars&Sticks]
    • Familiarity breeds... respect. [CSNW (video)]
    • Earned, not given. [NYDN]
    • Howdy, stranger. [Fox Sports, WashTimes]
    • Five bold predictions. [Rant Sports]
    • X-Factor players:
      • For the Rangers, Marty St. Louis. [NHL.com]
      • For the Caps, Marcus Johansson. [NHL.com]
    • Mike Green, here's your big chance to raise your UFA stock. Sigh. [ESPN $]
    • Breaking down the whole thing. [Blue Seat Blog]
  • Notes and assorted whatnot from yesterday out at Kettler:
    • In general. [Monumental video (Capitals Report, Trotz, Ovechkin, Holtby, Laich, Rinkside Update/Alzner)]
    • It is, in fact, not Evgeny Kuznetsov's first rodeo. But it is the beginnings of a terrific buddy movie with Brooks Orpik. [WaPo]
    • Tom Wilson has been paying attention to the discussion regarding his hit on Lubomir Visnovsky and... well just go read. [DC Sports Bog, PHT]
    • The Caps' top line prepares for a face full of Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh. [CSNW]
    • Braden Holtby: see success, be success. [NYT]
  • And from the Manhattan end of the ice:
    • There seems to be a common theme: Ovi, Ovi, Ovi, Ovi! [Newsday, BSB, NYDNNHL.com]
    • Oh, and that Backstrom fella as well. [Newsday]
    • Henrik Lundqvist is relaxed and rejuvenated. Uh oh. [NY Post]
    • Ryan McDonagh knows how to stop Alex Ovechkin. [NY Post]
    • Let's get physical. [CBS NY, NHL.com]
    • The Rangers bus has plenty of drivers... [NYDN]
    • ... but lots of players better step up. Looking at you:
    • The key to beating Holtby is apparently volume. Just look at that goal he gave up against the Isle! [BLS]
  • Predictions:
  • Farm report:
    • The Hershey Bears played an undisciplined game and the Worcester Sharks made them pay; the Bears dropped Game Three 4-1 and will suit up for Game Four on Friday. [Patriot-News]
    • The South Carolina Stingrays fell behind early but came back late to capture a 3-2 victory over the Reading Royals and advance to the East Division finals of the ECHL Kelly Cup playoffs. Their opponent will be the Florida Everblades; Game One is Friday. [ECHL.com]
    • Madison Bowey and the Kelowna Rockets took back a 2-2 series tie with a win over the Portland Winterhawks. [WHL.ca]
  • Everything you never knew about converting an ice hockey rink to a basketball court and back, from the Verizon crew who will be working two playoff series. [WashTimes]
  • Happy 29th birthday to Tim Kennedy, happy 49th birthday to Jeff Brown and happy 58th to Dave Parro.