Description: Capitals right wing Troy Brouwer has scored eight goals in his last 10 games.
Insight: Brouwer entered February with just 10 goals and 24 points all season, but he's picked up his production since then. He has 32 points and 121 SOG in 65 games, which represents a huge dropoff from last season's 33 points and 111 SOG in 47 games.
Description: Capitals forward Brooks Laich played through a groin injury and scored a goal Saturday.
Insight: Laich has dealt with a nagging groin injury the last two seasons and aggravated it Wednesday, but he was able to give it a go and skated nearly 19 minutes against Phoenix. Laich has been getting playing time with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom recently and has put up three goals and five points in his last five games.
Description: The Capitals have signed prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov to an entry-level contract. He'll make his debut Monday against Pittsburgh, according to Bob McKenzie of tsn.ca.
Insight: The 21-year-old was selected in the first round of the 2010 draft and just came to an agreement with his KHL team to end his contract seven weeks early after the team failed to make the playoffs. Kuznetsov had eight goals and 13 assists in 34 games in the KHL this season after putting up 38 goals and 46 assists in 100 games the previous two seasons. It's unclear what role or positon he'll play.
Description: Capitals forward Brooks Laich (groin) will play Saturday, according to the Washington Post.
Insight: Laich has dealt with a nagging groin injury the last two seasons and aggravated it Wednesday. He didn't skate Thursday, Friday or Saturday morning, so it's surprising that he's playing. Laich has been getting playing time with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom recently and had four points in his last four games.
Description: Capitals center Mikhail Grabovski (sprained left ankle) will not play Saturday, according to the Washington Post.
Insight: Grabovski (12 G, 21 A) missed 13 games in a row and aggravated his injury in his return to the lineup Thursday. He's hoping to skate next week. If we had to guess, Grabovski probably will sit out the home and home against the Penguins on Monday and Tuesday. The Caps then have two days off before playing the Canucks on Friday.
Description: Capitals forward Brooks Laich will be a game-time decision Saturday due to a groin injury, according to the Washington Post.
Insight: Laich has dealt with a nagging groin injury the last two seasons and aggravated it Wednesday. He didn't skate Thursday, Friday or Saturday morning and probably won't play Saturday night. Laich has been getting playing time with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom recently and had four points in his last four games.
Description: Washington's newly-acquired goalie Jaroslav Halak will make his Capitals debut on Saturday.
Insight: Halak never played a game for the Sabres after being traded from the Blues. He'll have his hands full with a less-than stellar defense in front of him. Halak was 24-9-4 with a 2.23 GAA and .917 SV% in St. Louis.
Description: Goalie Jaroslav Halak wasn't in Buffalo for long. He's on the move again, this time to the Washington Capitals. SOURCE: Bob McKenzie, TSN
Insight: Halak never played a game for the Sabres after being traded from the Blues. He'll presumably will replace Braden Holtby as Washington's starter. The Caps are a below-average defensive team but nowhere near as terrible as Buffalo.
Description: The Ducks traded Dustin Penner to the Washington Capitals Tuesday. Anaheim got back a fourth-round draft pick.
Insight: Penner had 21 points (nine goals), a +17 rating and 51 SOG his first 22 games this season, but he only put up 11 points, a +5 and 49 SOG in his last 27. He's unlikely to gain more fantasy value with Washington, as he was skating with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf in Anaheim, unless the Caps give him power-play time.
Description: Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin dominated the Bruins Saturday at TD Garden.
Insight: Both of Ovechkin's goals came on the power play. Saturday marked his seventh multi-goal effort of the season. Ovechkin's 43 goals this year are 11 more than anyone else in the NHL (Phil Kessel and Joe Pavelski are tied with 32 each).
Description: Caps center Nicklas Backstrom had two assists Thursday against the Panthers.
Insight: Backstrom was not allowed to participate in the gold medal game for Sweden in the Sochi Olympics for using an allergy medication that contained a banned substance, but the substance is not banned by the NHL and he wasn't disciplined. His 47 assists rank third in the NHL.
Description: Capitals center Mikhail Grabovski sustained a lower-body injury during Thursday's game and is questionable to return, according to Katie Carrera of the Washington Post.
Insight: Grabovski may have aggravated the ankle injury that caused him to sit out Washington's last eight games before the Olympic break. Prior to the injury, he hadn't picked up a point in his last five games.
Description: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said he doesn't anticipate there being any consequences for Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom using a banned substance at the Olympics. SOURCE: nhl.com
Insight: Backstrom was not allowed to participate in the gold medal game for Sweden against Canada Sunday for using an allergy medication that contained a banned substance. The substance isn't prohibited by the NHL, however.
Description: Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom didn't play for Sweden in the gold medal game against Canada Sunday because he tested positive for a banned substance, according to yahoosports.com.
Insight: An NHLPA source told Yahoo! Sports that Backstrom violated anti-doping rules after using an allergy medication. It was first reported that Backstrom would miss the game due to a migraine. Canada blanked Sweden, 3-0, to win its second straight men's ice hockey gold medal and third in four Olympics.
Description: The Olympic break is ending but Washington right wing Alex Ovechkin is still in Russia tending to his ailing father. SOURCE: ESPN
Insight: Ovechkin's father recently underwent heart surgery. It's unknown if Ovechkin will be back in time for next Thursday's game against Florida. The three-time Hart Trophy winner leads the NHL with 40 goals in 2013-14.
Description: Capitals defenseman Mike Green (concussion) expects to return to action next Thursday at Florida, according to Katie Carrera of the Washington Post.
Insight: Green (7 G, 23 A) suffered a concussion Jan. 30 against Columbus when he was checked into the boards and missed the last five games before the Olympic break. He has passed concussion tests and is ready to play.
Description: Capitals defenseman Mike Green (head) is expected to miss Tuesday's game against the NY Islanders.
Insight: Green was knocked out of last Thursday's game at Columbus with a head injury after being checked into the boards and missed the last two games. He skated for a short time Monday, but isn't ready to return.
Description: Capitals defenseman Mike Green (upper body) is out Friday. He left Thursday's game in the first period after being hit into the boards by Columbus' Boone Jenner.
Insight: Green used to be a top-three fantasy defensman, but those days are in the past. He's still a viable blueliner with seven goals and 23 assists on 129 shots, but he's no longer a point-a-night guy and his -9 rating is indicative of a Capitals defense that is struggling.
Description: Capitals defenseman Mike Green left Thursday's game in the first period after being hit into the boards by Columbus' Boone Jenner and is questionable for Friday's game against Detroit.
Insight: Green used to be a top-three fantasy defensman, but those days are in the past. He's still a viable blueliner with seven goals and 23 assists on 129 shots, but he's no longer a point-a-night guy and his -9 rating is indicative of a Capitals defense which is struggling.
Description: Capitals center Mikhail Grabovski (sprained left ankle) is questionable for Friday's game against Detroit.
Insight: Grabovski hasn't skated with the team since Jan. 24, according to a Washington Post report, which means we're leaning toward another missed game. He's scored 12 goals and 21 assists in 49 games this season and is a useful center when healthy.
Description: Capitals defenseman Mike Green left Thursday's game in the first period after being hit into the boards by Columbus' Boone Jenner. SOURCE: Washington Post
Insight: Green went headfirst in the glass after being checked by Jenner near the end boards. He was motionless on the ice for several minutes before making it off under his own power. He emerged from the dressing room roughly 10 minutes after the hit and skated briefly during a television timeout, but he retreated back down the tunnel soon after and is likely done for the night.
Description: Caps right wing Alex Ovechkin wasn't at practice on Thursday and remains questionable for Friday's game against New Jersey. SOURCE: Washington Post
Insight: He did travel with the team, which is always a good sign. The NHL's leading goal scorer missed Tuesday's game against Ottawa because of a lower body injury. It was only his third absence of the season.
Description: No Alex Ovechkin meant no goals for Washington Tuesday against Ottawa.
Insight: Any absence for Ovechkin is a disaster for fantasy owners as he's one of the top scorers in the NHL. And it didn't help the Caps either as they got shut out 2-0. He has three goals in his last four games and 35 in 47 games this season to lead the league. The 260 SOG and 34 PIM offset his rather ugly -16 rating.
Description: Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin will be a game-time decision due to a lower-body injury, according to Capitals beat writer Katie Carrera.
Insight: Any absence for Ovechkin is a disaster for fantasy owners as he's one of the top scorers in the NHL. He has three goals in his last four games and 35 in 47 games this season to lead the league. The 260 SOG and 34 PIM offset his rather ugly -16 rating.
Description: Washington netminder Braden Holtby replaced Philip Grubauer for the second straight game Sunday at New York and made 17 saves on 18 shots in 42 minutes.
Insight: The Caps gave Holtby an extended break after he allowed 18 goals in just 190 minutes (5.68 GAA) over a four-game span from Dec. 10 to Jan. 4, but he's had to come in for Grubauer the last two games and could be close to reclaiming the starting job.
Description: Capitals right wing Eric Fehr delivered two goals including the game-winner with 52 seconds left Thursday against Tampa Bay.
Insight: It was Fehr's first two-goal game in almost three years (March 9, 2011 against Edmonton). Fehr (eight goals, 11 assists in 34 contests) isn't a must-start by any means but he's somebody to keep an eye out for if you happen to see him on the waiver wire.
Description: Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin ended a four-game point drought with a goal Thursday against Carolina.
Insight: Coach Adam Oates moved Ovechkin to the second line Thursday as a motivational tactic after Ovechkin failed to post a single point while taking 31 SOG his previous four games. He took nine more shots Thursday and finally found the net on one of them. Ovechkin has attempted 5.59 SOG per game this season.
Description: Capitals defenseman Mike Green scored just his second goal of the season Sunday.
Insight: Green had 12 goals last season and 96 in his career, but he just hasn't been able to hit the back of the net this season despite taking 2.7 SOG per game. He's still on pace for 44 points due to his 14 assists in 30 games.
Description: Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin netted four goals in Tuesday's overtime win against the Lightning.
Insight: Ironically, he missed his only chance in the shootout period. Tuesday marked Ovechkin's third four-goal game and the 13th hat trick of his career. He needs six more hat tricks to tie Peter Bondra's team record. Ovechkin leads the NHL with 26 goals this season.
Description: Washington defenseman John Carlson assisted on both of his team's goals Friday against Montreal.
Insight: With Mike Green out, Carlson has been Washington's top D-man on the power play recently. Green returned to the ice Friday night, but Carlson still saw plenty of time on the power play and had one of his assists with the man advantage. The 23-year-old has five goals, 11 points and 57 SOG in 23 games.
Description: Capitals defenseman Mike Green (lower body) should be back Friday, according to Katie Carrera of the Washington Post.
Insight: Green has missed three straight games with a lower-body injury. He skated Tuesday without pain but coach Adam Oates did not want to throw him into the fire in a tough matchup versus Pittsburgh Wednesday.
Description: Capitals defenseman Mike Green (lower body) practiced without pain Tuesday but is questionable for Wednesday's game.
Insight: According to csnwashington.com, coach Adam Oates doesn't want to put Green in a tough situation after missing a week. "He’s missed a lot of time and it’s a big game," Oates said. "I don’t want to put him in a situation where he’s behind the 8-ball. He hasn’t been able to do a lot of cardio, so I’m a little worried about his conditioning."
Description: Capitals forward Marcus Johansson scored his first goal of the season and had one assist Tuesday against the Islanders.
Insight: Johansson had 10 assists in his first 10 games but had not scored a point in the last four contests. The Capitals moved Johansson off the top 5-on-5 line but he is still skating with the top power-play unit and should be able to maintain solid fantasy value.
Description: Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom had three assists Tuesday against the Islanders.
Insight: Having Alex Ovechkin back certainly helped Backstrom -- two of his three assists went to No. 8. The 25-year-old Backstrom has five goals and 14 assists in 15 games this season, production that should be sustainable.
Description: Caps center Nicklas Backstrom netted two goals and an assist Friday in a blowout victory over Philadelphia.
Insight: It didn't take long for this one to get out of hand. Washington jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two periods and added another for good measure in the third. The 25-year-old Backstrom now has four goals for the season.
Description: Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth will start Monday at Vancouver.
Insight: Starter Braden Holtby was pulled from Saturday's game after allowing three goals in the first 13 minutes, but he's mostly settled down after a terrible start. Neuvirth is 1-1-0 with a 3.08 GAA and an .893 SV% in three games, so the team is in no hurry to make a change in net.
Description: Capitals winger Martin Erat moved up to the second line and had three assists Saturday night.
Insight: Erat produced between 49-58 points in every season from 2003-04 to 2011-12, but he skated just 8:46 per game as a member of the fourth line this season and didn't have a point until Saturday. He should remain on the second line with Brooks Laich and Troy Brouwer.
Description: After playing just 8:46 per game as a fourth-line winger over the first seven games this season, Martin Erat will move up to the Capitals second line.
Insight: Erat produced between 49-58 points in every season from 2003-04 to 2011-12 and he had 21 points in 36 games with Nashville before being traded last season, but in 16 games with Washington he has one goal and three points. Skating with Brooks Laich and Troy Brouwer on the second line should help him see more ice time -- Brouwer is skating 18:49 per game this season.
Description: The Capitals have moved Mikhail Grabovski off the second line, according to CSNWashington.com.
Insight: Grabovski had a hat trick and one assist in the season opener but has two points in his last six games. Caps coach Adam Oates will go with Brooks Laich, Troy Brouwer and Martin Erat on the second line.
Description: Washington winger Alex Ovechkin left Tuesday's practice due to fatigue, according to the Washington Post.
Insight: Capitals coach Adam Oates said that Ovechkin was a "little tired from last night" and asked to leave practice. "He kind of wasn't feeling 100 percent, so he said, 'Let me get out of here.' So I said, 'Sure.'" Ovechkin, who has six goals and nine points in six games this season, should be ready for Wednesday's game against the Rangers.
Description: Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth will start Saturday against the 4-0 Avalanche.
Insight: Even though Braden Holtby has allowed 13 goals in his first four games and has a 4.04 GAA and an .873 SV%, the Caps have refrained from using Neuvirth since he relieved Holtby on Oct. 3. This will be his first start of the season.
Description: Capitals goalie Braden Holtby showed improvement Saturday at Dallas, but he'll need to do a bit more to hold onto his starting job.
Insight: Holtby gave up two goals to Dallas, a step forward after allowing eight in his first two starts, but he saw only 21 SOG. The 24-year-old has allowed 10 goals on just 56 shots in three games (.848 SV%).
Description: Capitals goalie Braden Holtby will start Saturday's game despite allowing eight goals in his first 75:37 this season.
Insight: The 24-year-old gave up five goals in the season opener at Chicago and was pulled after letting in three in the first 16:22 Thursday versus Calgary. He also got off to a terrible start last season before turning things around.
Description: The Capitals put goalie Braden Holtby on the bench after he allowed three goals in the first 16:22 Thursday against the Flames.
Insight: The 24-year-old gave up five goals in the season opener at Chicago, so he's off to a terrible start for the second straight season. Last year, he had a 4.74 GAA after his first five appearances but ended up at 2.58.
Description: Washington winger Alex Ovechkin had two goals, one assist and 11 SOG in Thursday's game against the Flames.
Insight: The Capitals fell behind 4-1 in the second period but ended up sending the game to overtime and winning in a shootout. Ovechkin is primed for another huge year and should be selected in the top three picks in all fantasy leagues.
Description: Washington winger Alex Ovechkin has returned from his weekend in Greece where he was part of the Olympic torch ceremony and should be ready to go when the Capitals open up their season on Tuesday against Chicago.
Insight: Ovechkin totaled a league-leading 32 goals on 220 shots last season with 24 assists for 56 points. He's the best at his position and a must start whenever he's in uniform.
Description: League MVP Alex Ovechkin is doing well in his recovery from a broken foot. SOURCE: Associated Press
Insight: Ovechkin suffered the injury during the first round of the playoffs. Amazingly, he was able to play three games before the team realized the extent of the injury. He'll be fine by the time training camp gets under way in September.
Description: Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin won the 2013 Hart Trophy, which is awarded to the NHL's most valuable player.
Insight: Ovechkin is a three-time Hart Trophy winner, but he had not won the award since 2009. He finished with 32 goals, 56 points and 220 SOG in 48 games this season and was the No. 1 player in fantasy hockey.
Description: Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby is 2-0 with a 0.47 GAA in 128 minutes in two games against the Rangers this series.
Insight: Holtby shut out New York in 68 minutes Saturday afternoon to put the Capitals up 2-0 in the first-round series. He won 23 games with a 2.58 GAA and a .920 SV% during the regular season and was tremendous during the playoffs last season as well.
Description: Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby made 35 saves on 36 shots to win Game 1 against the Rangers Thursday night.
Insight: Holtby had an up-and-down season but he finished strong with a 2.29 GAA in March and a 2.16 GAA in February to lead Washington to a division title and a No. 3 seed. He went 7-7 with a 1.95 GAA and a .935 SV% in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Description: Capitals center Mike Ribeiro has compiled eight points over his last six games.
Insight: Ribeiro had just seven points in 15 games from March 9 to April 4 after playing at a pace better than 1.0 ppg over the first month and a half of the season. He now has 12 goals and 31 assists in 43 games.
Description: Washington left wing Alex Ovechkin lit the lamp twice Sunday in a win over the Lightning.
Insight: By doing so, Ovechkin was able to tie Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos for the league-lead in goals (25). The former Hart Trophy winner has been red hot recently. This weekend alone Ovechkin produced five goals and one assist.
Description: Capitals forward Mike Ribeiro had a goal and an assist Saturday against the Panthers.
Insight: Ribeiro was due for a slump after playing at better than a point-per-game pace over the first two months, and getting dropped off Alex Ovechkin's line didn't help. He came into Saturday's game with zero points over his last four games and seven over his last 15.
Description: Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom made it another three assists Saturday against Florida.
Insight: Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin were reunited on the team's top line in mid-March and it has allowed Backstrom's fantasy value to soar. He has three goals and 14 assists over his last 11 games and six goals and 33 assists in 38 games this season.
Description: Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin contributed his second hat trick of the season and also had one assist Saturday against Florida.
Insight: Ovechkin was obviously making up for his nine-game scoring streak coming to an end on Thursday. Ovechkin has 13 goals and 19 points over his last 11 games and 23 goals and 41 points in 38 games this season.
Description: Capitals winger Martin Erat left Saturday's game against the Panthers after being hit into the boards. Erat's head slammed off the boards and his left leg was contorted upon impact, according to Katie Carrera of the Washington Post.
Insight: Erat was playing in his second game since being acquired from Nashville at the trade deadline. He has 21 points in 37 games.
Description: Nashville has traded Martin Erat and Michael Latta to the Washington Capitals for prospect Filip Forsberg.
Insight: After producing 0.72 ppg over his previous eight seasons, Erat's output has slipped to 0.58 ppg in 2012-13. There's a place for him on Washington's first or second line, both of which are better than the group he was playing with in Nashville.
Description: Capitals defenseman Mike Green chipped in two more goals Tuesday against Carolina, giving him four in the last three games.
Insight: Green dealt with a groin injury for more than a month and only played two games from Feb. 15 to March 20. He returned March 21 and has produced five goals and six points over the last six games.
Description: Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom assisted on four of Washington's five goals Tuesday against the Hurricanes and finished the night with a +3.
Insight: Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin have been reunited on the team's top line since mid-March and it has allowed his fantasy value to soar. He has three goals and 10 assists over his last nine games and six goals and 29 assists in 36 games this season.
Description: Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby has allowed 11 goals over his last three starts but he'll get another chance Tuesday against the Hurricanes.
Insight: One of Holtby's four shutouts this season have come against Carolina, but he has been extremely inconsistent and is difficult to trust in fantasy leagues unless he is playing the Winnipeg Jets (3-0, 0.33 GAA, two shutouts in last three starts against them).
Description: Capitals defenseman Mike Green has two goals, three points and eight SOG over the last two games.
Insight: Green dealt with a groin injury for more than a month and only played two games from Feb. 15 to March 20. He returned March 21 and has produced three goals and four points over the last five games.
Description: Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin needed 22 stitches to close a gaping wound on his chin after being struck by a puck during Thursday's practice and is probable for Saturday's game against Buffalo.
Insight: Ovechkin laughed it off on his Twitter account and even posted before-and-after photos of the wound. The star winger has been on fire with eight points over his last four games.
Description: Capitals forward Mike Ribeiro scored goal No. 11 Tuesday against the Islanders.
Insight: Ribeiro has managed to score 11 goals this season despite taking just 41 SOG. That's an unsustainable rate over an 82-game season, but in 48 games anything is possible. He also has 24 assists to give him 35 points in 33 games.
Description: Washington defenseman John Carlson had one of his team's two goals Tuesday against the Islanders.
Insight: Carlson has averaged 34.5 points per 82 games over the last two seasons and he is ahead of that with five goals and 16 points through 33 games this season. The blueliner is on a four-game scoring streak.
Description: Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin extended his goal streak to five games Sunday in a shootout win over New York.
Insight: He finished with one goal and an assist in just over 20 minutes of ice time. Ovechkin also netted a goal against Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist in the shootout. He's taken at least five shots in each of his last three games.
Description: Washington left wing Alex Ovechkin knocked in two goals Friday in a blowout win over Winnipeg.
Insight: Ovechkin is on a roll. He's scored a goal in each of his last four games and has now tallied 14 points since the start of the month. Now if only he could raise that plus/minus rating a little bit (-5 for the season).
Description: Capitals right wing Troy Brouwer had his 11th goal of the season Thursday against Winnipeg.
Insight: Brouwer had just 33 points in 82 games last season despite getting a lot of playing time with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. He has been much more impressive this season with 21 points in 29 games.
Description: Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin has scored a goal in three straight games and four of the last five. He had a goal and two assists Thursday against the Jets.
Insight: Ovechkin has five goals and 11 points in 11 games this month and has performed at a point-per-game pace over his last 23 games. Playing with Nicklas Backstrom again should help him keep it up.
Description: Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom scored his fourth goal of the season Thursday against Winnipeg. He added assist No. 22 and three SOG.
Insight: Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin have been reunited on the team's top line over the last few games after being split up in midseason. Obviously, being with Ovechkin is a better arrangement for Backstrom's fantasy value.
Description: Capitals defenseman Mike Green (groin) says he is ready to return to action, but he will be questionable for Thursday's game. SOURCE: Washington Times
Insight: Green (7 points in 16 games) has missed 10 straight games and 13 of the last 15 with a groin injury. He hasn't been able to stay healthy over the last three seasons after posting 19 goals and 76 points over 75 games in 2009-10.
Description: Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin scored goal No. 11 Sunday against Buffalo.
Insight: Ovechkin took five SOG, giving him 116 for the season, but he has scored at a rate of 9.5 percent, the second-lowest mark of his career. It looks like we may never see the 50-goal, 100-point Ovechkin ever again.
Description: Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth will start in Washington's game against Boston Saturday afternoon, according to the Washington Times.
Insight: The Capitals started the season giving both Neuvirth and Braden Holtby an even share of the work, but Holtby has been getting most of it of late. Neuvirth is 2-4-1 this season with a 2.86 GAA and a .900 save percentage.
Description: Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby will sit out Thursday while Michal Neuvirth gets his first start since Feb. 7.
Insight: Neuvirth and Holtby traded the starting job earlier this season but Holtby has been the clear-cut No. 1 over the past month. However, Holtby has stumbled a bit with two straight losses and a 3.91 GAA.