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18.02.2019 03:20
Va. (AP) — After all of their individual days Antworten

ARLINGTON Connor Brown Jersey , Va. (AP) — After all of their individual days with the Stanley Cup from Moscow to Minnesota, all of the fountain-diving and beer-guzzling, the parade and the diamond-encrusted rings , Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals get to do something else new for the franchise: raise a banner signifying an NHL championship.The team and its fans finally will enjoy that rite Wednesday night, before the Capitals open the regular season by hosting the Boston Bruins.“The atmosphere is going to be unbelievable,” Ovechkin said. “The people are going to be happy. Some might even cry.”The Cup itself, now etched with his name, will be on the ice for the banner ceremony, which is supposed to start 15 minutes before the opening faceoff. And then it’ll be time to play hockey that counts for the first time since a 4-3 victory on Lars Eller’s goal in Game 5 against the Vegas Golden Knights back in June.“Once that banner goes up, it’ll be nice closure for everyone that what happened was real,” forward T.J. Oshie said Tuesday after Washington practiced. “And we can start focusing on the future and trying to do this thing again.”There will be a different coach in charge of Washington — Barry Trotz left when he didn’t get the sort of contract he wanted and was replaced by one of his assistants, Todd Reirden — but otherwise, not much has changed: 18 of the 19 players who appeared in the Cup-clinching game are still around.“The systems and stuff Frederik Andersen Jersey , it’s all the same. So it’s pretty straightforward,” goalie Braden Holtby said about the switch from Trotz to Reirden. “Obviously they have different personalities and it’s going to take some adjusting for everyone, but that almost can be a good thing in that way, because we do have almost the same roster coming back and when you have that happen, complacency can sometimes set in, just because everything’s the same. That little change might help us stay fresh and stay excited about things.”What’s entirely, and inalterably, changed is the whole vibe around the Capitals, who have been around since 1974 and only once before even made it as far as the conference finals. The longtime core of Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom never had been past the second round of the postseason.Whatever sense of doom and gloom that hung over their team for years has now disappeared.“All the talk of jinxes and things like that,” Oshie said, “people can kind of get out of their minds.”Ovechkin, Oshie and Backstrom were among the Capitals who had to sit through a banner-raising as the opponent two years ago in Pittsburgh, when Sidney Crosby and the rest of the rival Penguins celebrated a championship.This time it is Washington’s turn.“You hear all the things going on. That’s the same feeling you want to have yourself Womens Jake Gardiner Jersey , and we’ll have it tomorrow,” Backstrom said. “It’s a way better feeling than sitting in the locker room, just waiting for the game to start.”Notes: D Michal Kempny will miss at least Washington’s first two games. He is on injured reserve after getting elbowed in the head by Blues D Robert Bortuzzo last week. … Washington claimed St. Louis Blues F Dmitrij Jaskin and reassigned D Jonas Siegenthaler to Hershey of the AHL. … Fs Jayson Megna and Nathan Walker made the opening-night roster. … F Brett Connolly is expected to start against Boston in place of Tom Wilson on the top line with Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Wilson’s hearing for his hit to the head of Blues C Oskar Sundqvist is scheduled for Wednesday. Now that Mike Sullivan and Barry Trotz have matched wits in a playoff series for three consecutive years, they harbor very few secrets.The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals know each other inside-out from 17 postseason games since 2016. The coaches are very familiar with the dynamics of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin and just about all the other moving pieces.”Every move that we make there’s a counter move, and every move they make there’s a little counter move,” Trotz said. ”It’s funny: A lot of them are the same things that we’ve seen at different parts in the last couple series. They just come in different order sometimes at you. There’s only maybe so many bricks that you have and they are just lined up a different way all the time.”Sullivan moved his pieces around as Pittsburgh tied the series at 2-2, and now Trotz gets the next chance in their chess match for Game 5 on Saturday (7 p.m. EDT, NBC). After Alex Ovechkin put no shots on net for the third time in his playoff career – with Tom Wilson suspended the first of three games – it starts with finding the right mix on the top line.Trotz tried Devante Smith-Pelly with Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, and that trio was outshot 21-9 at even strength. Maybe Smith-Pelly will be back on that line, maybe he won’t after the Capitals coaching staff pored over video to see what went wrong.”We’re looking at that,” Trotz said. ”I think that whole line has to be better for us. They’re going to need to be productive.”Pittsburgh’s top line of Jake Guentzel Matt Bartkowski Jersey Womens , Sidney Crosby and whoever else has been incredibly productive. All 10 of the Penguins’ goals in the series have come with Crosby on the ice, and Guentzel leads all players in the playoffs with 10 goals and 21 points.”I just think he’s the best player in the game,” Sullivan said of Crosby, who played with Guentzel and Dominik Simon in Game 4. ”Sid certainly makes everybody around him better players but you’ve got to give Jake a lot of credit for the game that he’s playing.”The Penguins got speedy winger Carl Hagelin back from injury while the Capitals lost Wilson. That’s a disadvantage for Washington, but the spotlight is still on Trotz to make the necessary adjustments as Capitals-Penguins becomes a best-of-three series.”I think every game both teams recalibrate, if you will, in some areas,” Trotz said. ”There’s little changes we’ve noticed with them, and there’s some changes that we added in. Some of them worked and some of them didn’t have the effect that we wanted to. At the end of the day, it’s two guys going nose to nose, battling for position, battling for free pucks, executing on plays under pressure. Once we put a plan in place Youth John Tavares Jersey , we put the players in charge, really.”CHESS MATCH IIIn the West, Nashville coach Peter Laviolette also made a key change in the series between the NHL’s top two teams, benching Game 2 double-overtime hero Kevin Fiala in favor of veteran Scott Hartnell for more size, strength and experience against Winnipeg. That, plus replacing Alexei Emelin with Yannick Weber, allowed Nashville to better counter imposing Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien in tying the series at 2-2. Game 5 is Saturday night in Nashville (9:30 p.m. EDT, NBCSN).Laviolette said making a change involves taking into account the opposition, building, a player’s experience and style of play.”They’re never easy,” Laviolette said. ”But I thought the guys that went in the lineup last night did a really good job. Hartnell played a good game. He did what we were hoping he would do, and I thought Yannick Weber went in and played a good game.”With the Jets held without a shot for the first 12 minutes of the third period, Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice started mixing up his lines. He swapped centers Nazem Kadri Jersey , skating Mark Scheifele with Nikolaj Ehlers and Patrik Laine with Paul Stastny between Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor. Laine scored his first goal of the series and first in the postseason since Game 2 on April 13 against Minnesota.DERBY DAY ODDSThe betting favorite to win these two series will be whoever comes out on top in Game 5, based on history alone. The 256 previous times where it was tied at 2, the Game 5 winner went on to win the series 78.9 percent of the time. So there’s no urgency lacking.”We’re going to need our best effort of the series probably in Game 5 to get a win,” Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen said. ”I think we’re building a belief that we can beat these guys. We know we’re going to have to play really well, but it’s possible. We think we can do it.”—AP Sports Writers Will Graves in Pittsburgh and Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, contributed.—

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