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Tuesday Caps Clips: Panthers @ Capitals Game Day

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Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: The Kitties come to town, Ovechkin takes a seat, Kuznetsov takes a bow and more.

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Your savory breakfast links:

  • As the team finally returns to a regular hockey schedule, it's gut-check, eye-check, and stats-check time. And guess what? The Caps are still good, in all the areas that matter. (But, you know, get well soon, Marcus Johansson Jay Beagle, and Brooks Orpik). [Rink]
  • Congrats are in order for Evgeny Kuznetsov, named the NHL First Star for the month of January. Rising star! [Rink, Caps Today, CSNMA, PHT, Caps Outsider, Sport-Express.ru, 1obl.ru]
  • Previews of tonight's playdate with the Panthers from Vogs (plus game notes), NHL.com, Peerless and NovaCapsFans, and be sure to check out the Miami Herald and our SB Nation pals over at Litter Box Cats for the other side of tonight's matchup.
    • If the head coach behind the visitors' bench looks familiar, it's because Gerard Gallant coached against Barry Trotz's Team Metropolitan Division in the All-Star Tournament just two days ago as the boss of Team Atlantic Division. [Sun Sentinel]
    • Both coaches have opted to give their All-Star starting goalies a game off and therefore we'll see Philipp Grubauer vs. Al Montoya in net. [@Cats0ntheProwl]
  • News and notes from yesterday's practice out at Kettler:
    • In general. [Monumental video (TrotzOvechkin, Oshie, Niskanen, Wilson)]
    • The team was preparing to play a game with superstar winger and captain Alex Ovechkin on the sidelines, but with Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov having Monday off it was unknown what the line combos might be. [CSNMA]
    • Marcus Johansson did not practice with the team and is most likely unavailable for Tuesday's game... [WaPo, CSNMA]
    • ... and therefore centerman Zach Sill has been recalled to DC from Hershey. [Caps Today]
  • Hit this link for the article about the Caps "running away" with the East, stay for the nearly 9-minute interview with Barry Trotz at the All-Star Game. [Sportsnet (video)]
  • "Go down the list of what is possible by considering everything he's already done this season, and the only conclusion is that 2016 could be a year in Braden Holtby 's hockey career that he'll cherish forever..." [NHL.com]
  • Craig Laughlin called in to Baltimore's 105.7 radio station to talk Caps hockey and the second half of the season. [CBS Baltimore (audio)]
  • How Alex Ovechkin's car donation from last year's All-Star Game has transformed the Special Hockey Association. [RMNB]
  • Why even Philly fans ought to be rooting for Mike Richards. [Philly.com]
  • Remembering the Jaromir Jagr years, for some reason. [NVC]
  • Dave Nichols announces he's hanging up his skates/cleats/kicks at the end of this Caps and Wiz season, and retiring his District Sports Page. Thanks for all the great blogging, Dave, and we'll be glad to keep linking you deep into the summer. [DSP]
  • Finally, happy 39th birthday to Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre, and happy 56th to Lee Norwood.