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PostPosted: Jan 11, 2019 - 07:00 PM 
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VANCOUVER Michael Frolik Jersey , British Columbia (AP) — Travis Green thinks the Vancouver Canucks can learn a thing or two from how the Washington Capitals played against them Monday night.Vancouver’s head coach said the Capitals came out fast and strong in the 5-2 win, showcasing highly skilled athletes who consistently make plays.“They don’t just go out there and just play summer hockey. They play the game the right way,” Green said. “These are valuable experiences and lessons for our players, our young players especially.”There’s a reason the Capitals are the NHL’s reigning champions, Green added.“They’re big, they’re strong, they’re skilled, they win puck battles, they manage the puck. They do everything that Stanley Cup winning teams do. And they’re deep,” he said.“Man, that’s a good hockey team.”Alex Ovechkin had two goals and two assists for the Capitals (4-2-2) and John Carlson, Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie also scored.Troy Stecher and Sven Baertschi responded for the Canucks (5-4-0).Braden Holtby stopped 22-of-24 shots for the Capitals and Vancouver goalie Anders Nilsson turned away 28 of 33.Penalties played a big part in the game, with Washington netting two power-play goals and the Canucks getting one of their own.Vancouver’s second goal of the night came when the Canucks had the man advantage to start the third period.Right winger Brock Boeser fired a hard shot on Holtby seconds into the frame. The puck bounced off the goalie’s pads and on to Baertschi’s stick.Holtby didn’t have time to reset before Baertschi fired a rocket past him for his third goal of the year.The Canucks have been working on capitalizing on those kind of opportunities, said center Bo Horvat.“For us on the power play, we’ve talked about taking more shots Authentic Mikael Backlund Jersey , playing more direct and not trying to be too cute. (Boeser) made the right play, put it on net and (Baertschi) was right there for the rebound,” he said.But the team also took too many penalties and Washington was able to capitalize on them, Horvat added.“They were moving their feet, getting on the forecheck, taking the play to us at times,” he said.The Capitals lead the league in power-play goals, with 12 on 31 chances.Washington coach Todd Reirden said he liked the way his group played, landing hits early on and scoring just over two minutes in.“I thought we were emotionally invested right from the drop of the puck tonight and that gave us a really good advantage,” he said.Monday’s match also showed how far Ovechkin has come as a leader, the coach said.The Capitals captain got the puck late in the third period after Vancouver had pulled Nilsson from the net. Ovechkin had an opportunity to score for the hat trick, but instead of letting a shot rip, he passed to Oshie.“To me that’s a huge thing. … He could have easily scored himself but it wasn’t even a thought,” Reirden said.“It doesn’t bother him one bit and that’s where you saw maybe a different player than maybe you saw three or four years ago that’s not focused on individual stuff.”Even Oshie questioned the move, Ovechkin said with a laugh.“(He said) ‘Why you pass me the puck?’ But he was so wide open and I try to give him pass. Save mine for next time Mike Smith Jersey ,” said the Russian superstar, who now has eight goals in eight games this season.Monday’s game was the first in a four-game Canadian tour for the Capitals. They visit the Oilers in Edmonton on Thursday.The Canucks begin a two-game road swing in Vegas Wednesday before playing the Coyotes in Phoenix on Thursday.NOTESWashington center Nicklas Backstrom recorded his 600th career assist. … Ovechkin’s second goal of the night marked his 233rd on the power play. He is now ninth in NHL history for power-play goals. … Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson joined his teammates for morning skate Monday. The Canucks rookie has missed three games with a concussion and an update on his status is expect on Tuesday.UP NEXTCapitals: Play at Edmonton on Thursday night.Canucks: Begin a two-game swing at Vegas on Wednesday night before playing the Coyotes on Thursday. TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Lightning understand what it takes to be successful in the Stanley Cup playoffs.And as the Vegas Golden Knights are also showing, the winning formula can vary from game to game and series to series.Dominant defense is part of the equation. So is timely and opportunistic offense. Mental toughness is a prerequisite. It pays to be resilient, too.”I just think any time you’re winning games, you’re battling through something,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.”Maybe a better way to put it is you’re making a big play at the right time,” Cooper added. ”It seems teams that move on often are doing that, and teams that don’t miss out on opportunities.”The Lightning’s latest victory has them one away from the team’s third trip to the Eastern Conference final in four years, a step they can take by beating the Boston on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, NBC) at home in Game 5 of their best-of-seven semifinal.The Golden Knights, meanwhile, lead their second-round series against the San Jose Sharks 3-2 and can secure a spot in the Western Conference final by winning Game 6 on the road Sunday night (7:30 p.m., NBCSN).”I’d be the first one to tell you we’ve accomplished nothing,” Cooper said. ”We’ve won a couple of games in this series. You’ve got to win four Sean Monahan Jersey , not three.”Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn, who had the primary assist on Dan Girardi’s overtime goal that pushed the Bruins to the brink of elimination in Game 4, said there’s a sense of urgency to end the series and avoid a return trip to Boston.”I think it has to looked at that way,” Killorn said. ”That’s a great team. You go back to Boston, you give them a chance to get back in the series, you never know what will happen.”CONTROL YOUR TONGUEBruins winger Brad Marchand has been given an edict by the NHL: Stop licking opponents or you’ll be punished.The league announced Saturday that Marchand had been put ”on notice” after licking Lightning forward Ryan Callahan in the face during Game 4 on Friday night. Marchand appeared to lick Toronto’s Leo Komarov in the first round, too.Senior vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell spoke to Marchand and Boston general manager Don Sweeney on Saturday about the latest incident. The league said it was made clear to Marchand that his actions were unacceptable and he will face supplemental discipline if it happens again.Marchand, whose 17 points are second on the Bruins and fourth among all players in the playoffs, could face a fine or suspension if he licks another opponent.”It’s unfortunate that he goes that low to do that, but (it) doesn’t take us off our game. We keep going, and we’ll let the refs handle that,” Callahan said. ”Like I said, I’m just surprised that something isn’t done because I don’t know what’s the difference between spitting in someone’s face and licking it.”ONE STEP AWAYAs tempting as it may to be think about how close the Golden Knights are to reaching the Westeren Conference final, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said the team’s mind-set is much the same as it’s been all season.”I think we had this mentality all year long: it’s all about the next game,” the three-time Stanley Cup champion said. ”That’s where the focus has to be. Just rest TJ Brodie Jersey , relax and eat well. Get ready for the next one.”NOT THE FIRST TIMEVegas can become the third team in NHL history to win multiple series in its inaugural season. The league’s first-ever postseason saw the Toronto Arenas win the 1918 NHL Final against the Montreal Canadiens before defeating the Pacific Coast Hockey Association’s Vancouver Millionaires to win the Stanley Cup. In 1968, the St. Louis Blues defeated the Philadelphia Flyers and Minnesota North Stars to emerge from the all-expansion West Division to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.DESPERATION TIMEBoston trails the Lightning 3-1 and needs to win three straight to take the series – not impossible considering the Bruins won three of four meetings between the teams during the regular season.”I’s far from over,” Marchand said. ”We’ve been on both sides of it, so you know, we’re just going to regroup and get ready for the next one.”Forward Patrice Bergeron said the Bruins will have to play ”desperate hockey” to force the series back to Boston for Game 6.”We’ve shown character all year. … I’ve spoke about that, about the resilience in this room,” Bergeron said, ”so it’s time to show it.”—AP Sports Writers Jimmy Golen in Boston, Stephen Whyno in Washington, and freelance writer W.G. Ramirez in Las Vegas contributed to this report.—


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