RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Washington Capitals arent used to late-season games like this where the only thing at stake is pride. While they hate being in this position, at least theyre making the best of it. Troy Brouwer scored two goals in the Capitals 5-2 rout of the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night. All three members of Washingtons third line -- Joel Ward, Jason Chimera and Eric Fehr -- each had a goal and two assists. They helped the Capitals claim an easy win in this Metropolitan Division matchup of teams knocked out of the playoff race. "We went out there and we want to finish the season off right so that we can have some good games," Brouwer said. "Maybe a little consolation smile on your face when you go into the summertime, I guess." Braden Holtby stopped 36 shots for Washington, which won its third straight after losing five in a row. This one came one night after the Capitals learned they would miss the post-season for the first time in seven years. "Thats all we can do right now, is just go out and try to play the system correctly, and try to get good results from it," Fehr said. Jiri Tlusty scored a short-handed goal, Radek Dvorak added a late goal and Anton Khudobin finished with 16 saves for the Hurricanes. Playing their home finale, they lost their third straight -- their seventh losing streak of at least three games this season. "It wasnt good enough. Clearly," Carolina captain Eric Staal said. "We had breakdowns, and they ended up in our net. It just wasnt good enough, and theres not much else to say. We needed to be better than we were tonight. I feel bad for the fans who were here watching and came out to support us." Tlusty briefly made things interesting when he pulled the Hurricanes within a goal at 2-1 by finishing on a short-handed 2-on-1 rush at 17:16 of the second period. It was all Capitals after that. Brouwer restored Washingtons two-goal lead with 35.1 seconds left in the second when he one-timed a cross-ice feed from Marcus Johansson past Khudobin. Fehr made it a three-goal game 2:25 into the third and Brouwer stretched it to 5-1 62 seconds later by slipping the puck between Khudobins legs for his 25th goal of the season. "It was a team that was having fun tonight playing hockey," Brouwer said, "but unfortunately, its not for a whole lot." Both teams were playing their first game since being eliminated from the playoff chase. These meaningless late-season games are new to the Capitals, who until now had made the post-season every year since 2007. The Hurricanes are certainly used to this. Theyre out of the playoffs for the fifth straight year -- the longest active streak in the Eastern Conference -- and the seventh time in eight years since they won the Stanley Cup in 2006. "It hasnt been easy" for the fans, Staal said, "and it hasnt been easy for me the past five years." And with nothing on the line for either team except pride -- and in an arena almost completely devoid of energy -- this game quickly took on a rather loose feel. "It wasnt a good game overall," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said. "To me, it looked like two teams that just pretty much in the last couple days were mathematically out of the playoffs and it just looked like a sloppy game. I dont think it was really a good hockey game by either team. But for our last game at home, we were looking for more." Ward started the scoring with an easy goal 62 seconds in when he sent the puck into an open net. Chimera made it 2-0 at 10:58 of the second when he skated along the end line and slipped the puck under Khudobins right leg. "It was one of those nights where things were going well for us," Fehr said. "We could tell that the guys were feeling good." NOTES: Capitals C Marcus Johansson assisted on both of Brouwers goals. ... Washington has won four straight at PNC Arena and improved to 14-5-3 in the series since 2010-11. ... The Hurricanes season award winners were announced before the game, with the players voting C Manny Malhotra the Steve Chiasson Award winner for determination and dedication, and local writers selecting D Andrej Sekera as the team MVP. Stephen Hauschka Jersey
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.? It was his second straight start for the Jets; he suffered a 1-0 loss against Minnesota Monday. So this season Hutchinson has now won games in the ECHL, AHL and NHL. He was perfect three- for-three in the shootout to nail down the win.One of the big reasons why the Western Conference playoff race is so captivating this year is tied into the emergence of the Winnipeg Jets as a legitimate contender. Combine that with Nashville’s explosion in the standings, and you’re looking at a quarter of the playoff berths in the West potentially going to teams who many had on the outside looking in last October. Make no mistake, a big reason why Winnipeg has looked better in the standings this year of is tied into improvement in the goaltending department. Michael Hutchinson has been a blessing for Paul Maurice’s team, and even Ondrej Pavelec has turned things around a bit this season. Relatively speaking, it’s the best goaltending the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise has seen. The goaltending has carried things along, but it’s important to note that Winnipeg’s also playing significantly better from a possession standpoint this season, too. At Arctic Ice Hockey, Garret Hohl did an excellent job explaining the team’s spike in Score-Adjusted Corsi% this season (53.3% year-to-date, good for 9th in the NHL), and how three of Winnipeg’s four lines are generally out-playing the opposition. This, of course, brings us to the most important question of all. We know the team can skate with most opponents. We know the goaltending’s improved – although there’s a degree of uncertainty as to whether or not the Hutchinson/Pavelec duo can hold on. If you are Kevin Cheveldayoff and are looking to improve this club at the trade deadline, how do you do it? Winnipeg’s in a fascinating position from a trade deadline perspective, in that they have (a) plenty of future assets; (b) are not in need of a defenceman; and (c) need to be cognizant of their spending short-term, with the likes of Jacob Trouba and Dustin Byfuglien in need of new deals. Byfuglien, of course, has been the talk of Winnipeg over the last couple of months. His return to the blueline has created a crowded back end, in which every-day defenders like Paul Postma have been healthy scratched. So, Winnipeg maybe has an extra defenceman or two, and future assets available, and would probably prefer to acquire a rental type, perhaps a forward or two that can shore up that problematic fourth-line that’s been beaten up rather soundly from a possession and scoring-chance aspect. The good news: finding cheap, quality bottom-six wingers who can drive play and move up in the lineup as needed doesn’t strike me as a difficult task. The key is to hone in on players who have posted strong underlying numbers over many years, yet remain undervalued due to the two things that generally drive contracts – point-scoring and size. Let’s work through some quick criteria to isolate for players with excellent underlying numbers. We will pull out forwards who have logged at least 2000-minutes since 2010. The forwards must have been on the ice for 533% of shot-attempts (we’ll use Corsi%) and 53% of scoring chances.dddddddddddd The forward must also have been a quality relative player. That is, his team must have measurably benefited from a possession and scoring chance standpoint with the player on the ice. We’ll set +1.0% Relative Corsi% and 1.0 Relative ScoringChance% as additional parameters. Who are we left with? Just 43 players. Our criteria did an excellent job at qualifying only high-end possession and scoring-chance drivers. There’s only one problem – the list is littered with first-line or top-six talent, a group of either untouchable players or forwards who are going to cost a king’s ransom to acquire. How can we cut this list down further? One way is to create ice-time parameters. We want bottom-six forwards who presumably can be had for cheap. What happens if we only select players from this group who played less than thirteen minutes a night at even-strength? Jaden Schwartz, Reilly Smith, and Brendan Gallagher aren’t going anywhere. Jakub Voracek would cost a ton. Patrik Elias, Viktor Stalberg, and Benoit Pouliot all carry big contracts. I see no reason Detroit would move Darren Helm. Mathieu Perreault? He’s already with Winnipeg, and has been a massive success story. What a surprise! We are left with two players in Florida’s Sean Bergenheim, and Ottawa’s Erik Condra. Both players are on expiring contracts with small cap hits. Both players have been healthy scratched this season. Both have been shopped by their general managers (here and here). And yet, for almost five years running, they fit within a small group of forwards that range from ‘very good’ to ‘elite’. Despite whatever deficiencies the player allegedly possesses, his teams have historically done a fantastic job at beating up on the opposition when they have been on the ice. Over thousands of minutes, dozens of linemates, and deployment in ranging situations, that’s not a fluke. Perhaps, more importantly, these are the exact types of sound two-way forwards you need on a roster in order to build a legitimate contender. They cost pennies on the dollar because they aren’t big scorers, but play an extremely responsible game and generally spend most of their shifts in the offensive zone. Early identification of these players affords a front office the luxury of spending big on the guys who will carry gaudy scoring rates and log a ton of minutes like, say, free-agent-to-be Dustin Byfuglien. I think Winnipeg recognizes their legitimacy as a contender, but I also think they have an eye towards the future in terms of building a true championship contender. Thus, it strikes me as the sensible move to acquire a forward or two who will cost next-to-nothing in terms of current or future assets, yet will certainly improve the team as they head towards the postseason. NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NFL Camo Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap NFL Black Jerseys Wholesale Stitched Jerseys Cheap NFL Black Jerseys China NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys China Wholesale NFL Gear Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Womens Jerseys Cheap Authentic Jerseys Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Wholesale Stitched Jerseys Cheap NFL Womens Jerseys China NFL Gear Cheap Authentic Jerseys Youth NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale Jerseys China
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