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The Capitals are back in the win column! Washington finally recovered from the bye week with a strong 4-1 win over Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.
1. Washington will lead after the first period - Correct
Things looked bad when the Flyers scored 23 seconds into the game, but the goal was disallowed thanks to a heads-up coach's challenge from Barry Trotz. From there it was all Caps as they took a 2-0 lead into the locker room after the first period.
2. Players will be given matching minors - Correct
As predicted, this was a heated affair. No one wanted to drop the gloves, however, leading to plenty of matching minors being doled out. Three sets of matching minors were issued in this game, making me not only right, but very right.
3. Washington’s third line will score - Wrong
The Caps didn’t need depth scoring with three goals from their top two lines and fourth on the power play. The third line may not have scored on Wednesday, but they were still impressive throughout. Lars Eller had another strong defensive performance while Zach Sanford looked strong on the boards.
2017 results: The third line played well, but not well enough to give me the sweep. Still, two out of three ain't bad.
The decision to trade a lottery-protected first-round draft pick and two players who were completely out of the Wizards' rotation was done with the expectation that both have a good chance to be part of the future.
The Wizards are "still talking" with the trade deadline approaching today at 3 p.m. ET, league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com, but that doesn't mean another move is imminent.
After practicing Thursday, the Wizards (34-21) will travel to play the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday in the first game for both teams after the All-Star break. Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough, acquired from the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, are expected to join them.
Bogdanovic's three-year contract that he signed with Brooklyn expires at the end of this season which means his acquisition comes with a risk after playing 27 regular-season games in Washington.
But there's an anticipation that after making him a qualifying offer (125% of his $3.6 million salary) to keep the 6-8 forward as a restricted free agent gives the Wizards the leverage to retain him this summer. McCullough has a $1.2 million team option for 2017-18.
Andrew Nicholson and Marcus Thornton were sent to Brooklyn in the deal (the latter was released), That means with one fewer shooting guards, the Wizards will look more to rookie Sheldon Mac (no longer McClellan as he legally changed his name during the break), use more lineups with three forwads with Bogdanovic or look for another shooter before the deadline closes.
The other option is to comb free agency for a shooter which isn't impacted by today's deadline. But making such an acquistion would require one of the 15 players on the roster to be waived.
The final option isn't about acquiring another player but moving one currently on the roster to get back a draft pick. That would be a bench player not named Kelly Oubre, Jason Smith or Tomas Satoransky. All three are too valuable to coach Scott Brooks' rotation.