The Next Three
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D Sami Lepsito was reassigned to American Hockey League's Hershey Bears. . . . Prospect Jay Beagle was signed to a two-year entry-level deal. The 22-year-old forward has 18 goals and 32 points in 54 games with the Bears.
"There's a lot of talk in the paper about Alex [Ovechkin] not being worthy of the MVP unless we make the playoffs. He's . . . saying, 'If that's your attitude, then I'm going to do whatever it takes.' "
Coach Bruce Boudreau
BY THE NUMBERS
The Capitals' increase in standings points from last season (84 up from 70). It's the second-biggest jump in the NHL, behind Philadelphia's 32-point improvement.