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Not airing tonight: NHL openers

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Not airing tonight: NHL openers

This was supposed to be the night the NHL toasted its own success.

The night NBC Sports Network kicked off its second year of NHL coverage with a doubleheader featuring the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers followed by the St. Louis Blues taking on the Colorado Avalanche.

Instead, nothing.

The Capitals, by the way, were to open their regular season Friday night at Verizon Center.

Again, nothing.

Instead of opening the regular season, Thursday marks Day 25 of the NHL lockout and the only solace hockey fans across the world can take is the fact that Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr are willing to sit in the same room.

The NHL commissioner and the NHLPA executive director are conducting negotiations for a second straight day in New York and although they remain far apart on how the league should share $3.3 billion in annual revenue, representatives from both sides say they are making progress.

Last week the NHL canceled regular season games through Oct. 24 and barring an agreement, games through the first week of November are expected to be canceled next week.

“I think we're making progress in a number of the areas that were discussed, which include health and safety, drug testing issues, medical care,” NHLPA counsel Steve Fehr said. “They were good discussions. It's a shame that they are going on in the midst of a lockout when we could be doing it while we're playing, or we could've been doing it a month ago or two months ago.”

While negotiations this week have focused on secondary issues, the hope from both sides is that talks lead into the core economic issues and new proposals.

“We’re trying to think of ideas to move the process forward,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. “Our message to the players’ association was we’re encouraging them to make a proposal. We hear, we understand that they have been working on some concepts, some ideas. We've suggested to them to just make the proposal.”

Although there have been suggestions the players would fight a salary cap if talks do not pick up steam, Daly suggested that could be a deal breaker that, quite possibly, kills the season.

“If that is the direction they choose to go in, that's up to them,” Daly said. “I don’t make the decisions for them. They’ve suggested they want to get the players back on the ice soon. I can pretty much assure you if they make that proposal, it won't get the players back on the ice soon.”

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Game 23: Capitals at Lightning game time, how to watch, open thread

Game 23: Capitals at Lightning game time, how to watch, open thread

Both the Caps and Lightning are desperate for a win. Who will come out on top? Tune in to CSN for coverage starting at 6:30 p.m. or stream it at CSNmidatlantic.com/CapitalsStream. Here is everything you need to know:

What: Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning

Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa Bay, ​Fla.

When: Saturday, 12/3 at 7:00 p.m. ET.

How to Watch: Capitals GameTime airs at 6:30 p.m. followed by Capitals at Lightning on CSN Mid-Atlantic.

When is the Capitals-Lightning game?

The Capitals (13-7-2) play the New York Islanders (13-11-1) Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ET.

What channel is the Capitals-Lightning game on?

The Capitals-Lightning game is broadcast on CSN. The coverage of the game begins at 6:30 p.m. with Capitals GameTime. The game begins at 7:00 p.m with Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin. For postgame coverage, stick around for Caps Extra following the game. (CSN channel Finder)

Where can I stream the Capitals-Lightning game?

The Capitals-Lightning game, along with Caps Extra, is available to stream live here on csnmidatlantic.com/CapitalsStream and the NBC Sports app and is available to authenticated CSN Mid-Atlantic subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

What are the lines for the Capitals-Lightning game?

Based on Saturday's morning skate, here are the projected lines:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Marcus Johansson
Andre Burakovsky - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Jakub Vrana
Paul Carey - Lars Eller - Justin Williams
Brett Connolly - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson

Defense
Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen
Dmitry Orlov - John Carlson
Brooks Orpik - Nate Schmidt

Goalies
Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches
Daniel Winnik, Taylor Chorney

Capitals vs. Lightning Open Thread

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals Digital Producer JJ Regan and the CSN Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and CSN's Facebook page.

Keep up with all the action here with Capitals GameZone and join in on the conversation here with Capitals Pulse.

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3 bold predictions: Caps look to shutdown a sputtering Tampa offense

3 bold predictions: Caps look to shutdown a sputtering Tampa offense

The Capitals will look to erase the memory of Thursday’s loss to the Islanders as they return to the ice Saturday night in Tampa Bay (7 p.m. on CSN).

Here are three bold predictions for the game against the Lightning:

1. Jakub Vrana will get his first NHL point on the power play

Considering how much the Caps have struggled on the power play lately, it seems odd to think they will find success in Tampa thanks to a rookie playing in only his second NHL game. But producing on the power play is Vrana’s specialty. He is a very talented young player with a lot of confidence. A Lightning penalty kill that has only been 81.3 percent effective this season may not know how to handle the young sniper.

RELATED: CAPS CASINO NIGHT BRINGS FANS AND PLAYERS TOGETHER

2. Both teams will combine for over 15 shots on goal in the first period

The Caps have lost two straight games and three of their last five. The Lightning have lost four straight and five of their last six. These are two teams desperate to turn things around and that will show in what should be a frantic first period. Expect a frantic opening frame with both teams trying to exert control early on.

3. Tampa Bay will score two goals or fewer

The Lighting scored four goals in a loss against St. Louis, but this is a team that is struggling to find consistent offense since losing superstar forward Steven Stamkos to injury. Prior to the game against the Blues, Tampa had been held to only five goals in three games. Despite the Caps’ recent struggles, they have played well defensively and should be able to shutdown a Tampa offense that hasn’t quite figured out how to score consistently without their top threat in the lineup.

MORE CAPITALS: Q&A: IS IT TIME TO SHUFFLE THE DEFENSE?