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      The Washington Capitals have re-signed John Carlson to a $64 million Malik Jefferson Color Rush Jersey , eight-year contract that allows the Stanley Cup champions to keep the do-it-all defenseman.

      Carlson will count $8 million against the salary cap through the 2026-27 season. General manager Brian MacLellan announced the deal Sunday.

      ”John has been an exceptional and consistent player for our franchise and has blossomed into being one of the top defensemen in the NHL,” MacLellan said. ”Defenseman like John are a rare commodity in our League and, at 28 years of age, we feel he is just entering his prime. As a right-handed defenseman, John plays in all key situations and has contributed greatly to our team’s success on the special teams. We are pleased for both parties to have come to an agreement.”

      That’s not necessary for the 28-year-old who has made the Washington area his home and wanted to stay if there was a fit. The Capitals got the cap space necessary to re-sign Carlson by trading veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik and backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer on Friday night at the NHL draft.

      Carlson outperformed his last deal that paid him just under $4 million a season and was at his best in a contract year. He led all defensemen with 68 points in the regular season and 20 in the playoffs to help Washington win the Metropolitan Division and then the Stanley Cup.

      The contract makes Carlson the second-highest-paid player on the Capitals behind Alex Ovechkin.

      Carlson averaged about 25 minutes a game all season, stepping up early when top-pairing defenseman Matt Niskanen missed time with injury and playing an important role on the power play and penalty kill on the Cup run.

      ”His value is immense,” goaltender Braden Holtby said. ”You can see that, how much he meant to our team in this run. As far as growth, I think he’s grown steadily but I think he’s been pretty good for a long time. He’s been really good for a long time. I think this year it just showed through a bit more because we just forced him to play more.”

      Carlson has been a mainstay on the Capitals’ blue line since 2010-11. The 2008 first-round pick has 333 points in 608 regular-season games and 55 points in 100 playoff games.

      ”I’ve always thought he was one of the better defensemen that I’ve ever played with Arden Key Color Rush Jersey ,” winger T.J. Oshie said. ”This year, he elevated that quite a bit. In my eyes, he’s got to be a top-three or top-five defenseman in the league. You see what he does- he doesn’t do a lot of things that are really flashy, so maybe he doesn’t get the highlight-reel things that other guys do, but defensively, he rarely ever gets beat.”

      Re-signing Carlson was just the first move on MacLellan’s summer checklist. He’s attempting to re-sign trade-deadline pickup Michal Kempny before Carlson’s defense partner can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, and he needs to negotiate new contracts for restricted free agent forwards Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly.

      ”We’re trying to sign Kempny,” MacLellan said Friday. ”We’re trying to sign Wilson as an RFA and then make some decisions after that.”

      There’s also the matter of replacing Barry Trotz as coach after he resigned and joined the New York Islanders. Associate coach Todd Reirden, who was a finalist for the Flames’ head job two years ago Lamar Jackson Jersey Ravens , is the heavy front-runner, though MacLellan wanted to sit down and formally interview him this week first.

      ”I think you still need to go through an interview process and ask the right questions,” MacLellan said. ”I just want to clarify on what he’s thinking system-wise and how he’s going to handle certain players.”

      It helps his case that Reirden coached the defenseman and had a hand in the development of Carlson, Niskanen, Kempny and Dmitry Orlov.

      ”The players all know him, they’re comfortable with him,” MacLellan said. ”He’ll have a good feel for personalities, how to motivate people and so forth.”

       

      WASHINGTON — For a group making their first trip to the Eastern Conference Final, the Washington Capitals look right at home.

      Even when they are on the road.

      The Capitals come home to Capital One Arena for Game 3 on Tuesday night sporting a 2-0 lead over a Tampa Bay Lightning team that won the most games in the NHL during the regular season.

      “I can’t wait to go home and play the game http://www.jaguarsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dj-chark-jersey ,” Alex Ovechkin told the Washington Post after Game 2. “The fans are going to be all over the place and we’ve waited for this moment for a long time. It’s going to be pretty cool and pretty special.”

      The Capitals improved to 7-1 on the road in these playoffs with Sunday’s 6-2 win and the Lightning now must win one of two in Washington to send the series back to Tampa Bay.

      Road teams that have taken a 2-0 series lead in the NHL conference finals have an 18-1 series record. The Capitals are 3-3 at home this postseason.

      “We’re here for a reason. We believe in ourselves and in this group,” Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman told the team’s website. “We’ve got to go out there and win games on the road, and we’ve done that in the playoffs and we’ve got to do it again.”

      Washington has outscored the Lightning 10-4 despite playing without center Nicklas Backstrom (right hand injury). Lars Eller moved up to the second line and scored a goal for the second straight game. He has four points in two games.

      “I like the playoffs,” Eller, who has 11 points (five goals, six assists) this postseason, told NHL.com. “I embrace when there’s more on the line and the stakes are higher. I always like that, and I think that it brings out in the best in me, and now with Nick out I’ve just been playing more minutes.”

      Washington’s defensive play has limited the Lightning to one even-strength goal in the first two games DJ Chark Color Rush Jersey , and the Capitals have succeeded in generating odd-man rushes when they have the puck.

      Eller and Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and two assists in Game 2, and Ovechkin and Tom Wilson each had a goal and an assist. Braden Holtby made 33 saves for Washington and has stopped 52 of 56 shots in two games, winning the goaltending battle with Andrei Vasilevskiy.

      The Capitals scored twice late in the second period to take a 4-2 lead, including a power-play goal by Kuznetsov with three seconds left, and cruised home.

      Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos scored Game 2 goals — Vasilevskiy made 31 saves — for Tampa Bay, which lost two games in a row for the first time this postseason.

      “If there is one thing I can sit here and say about these two games, it’s we just played tentative and a little bit slow,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper told NHL.com. “We didn’t get 113 points by playing that way. We didn’t win the first two rounds by playing that way. These first two games, that’s the way we’ve played.”

      One bright note for the Lightning Authentic Blake McLaughlin Jersey , the last time they lost two straight home playoff games, in the 2015 conference final against the New York Rangers (Games 4 and 6), they won the series in seven games.

      “Sometimes, adversity is gut-check time and let’s see who we really are,” Stamkos told NHL.com. “We haven’t had to really deal with that so far in the playoffs. Now we are, so we’ll see what type of team we are.”

      .

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