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Before tonight, back-up goaltender Justin Peters hadn’t played in an NHL game since November 29th. In 7 appearances which totaled just 401 minutes of ice time, Peters faced 172 shots and had an .872 save percentage.

Against Dallas on Saturday, Peter allowed five goals, including two back-breaking third period tallies within 16 seconds. Peters was not great. Karl Alzner summed it up pretty well post-game: “He did pretty good for not getting a start in a while.”

Long-time Caps back-up goaltender Brent Johnson had a distinct perspective on Peters’ performance during CSN’s post-game show. Remember, this is the same man who would sit for long stretches of time as Olie Kolzig handled the boatload of starts in Washington.

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Photos: Amanda Bowen

On Tuesday, the Washington Capitals took to the ice in front of a huge crowd at Kettler. With only one more practice before the Winter Classic, Caps goaltender Braden Holtby brought out his new, retro-designed gear and attempted to get it game-ready. That included a new mask, glove, blocker, pads, and a stick– all with a retro flair.

As we’ve documented before, Holtby’s mask design is based off one of Olie Kolzig’s first NHL buckets. Holtby has some more personal tributes on the mask some fans might not know about. His son’s name Benjamin was airbrushed on the backplate along with the flags of Saskatchewan and Alberta, Holtby’s home. The Japanese symbol meaning “Constant Improvement,” a staple of every Holtby mask, is also present.

RMNB’s Amanda Bowen captured all of Holtby’s gear below. He’s going to look good New Year’s Day.

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After practice this morning, Tom Wilson interviewed roommate Michael Latta for a video on ESPN.com. However, Wilson’s interviewing skills — though it was a fascinating conversation — aren’t why I’m writing today. This is a post because Caps’ back-up goaltender Justin Peters pied Wilson in the face.

“Is that for the deke?” Wilson says to Peters out of frame, while wiping his eyes. “I put his jockstrap in the stands out there and now he’s coming at me.”

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Photo via DaveArt.com

Washington Capitals backup goaltender Justin Peters always wears a dog-themed mask which honors his nickname Pete-Dawg. For the Caps’ Winter Classic this Thursday, the general theme of Peters’ mask will be no different, but this time it integrates a dog house instead of an actual bloodthirsty animal.

Oh wait, I’m sorry Dawg House.

I’ll let Swedish air brush artist Dave Gunnarsson explain.

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Photo: @a0gr8

The Washington Capitals are out in Phoenix ahead of their game with the Coyotes on Tuesday. And our mustachioed heroes have made the most of their off day. Alex Ovechkin put on his favorite Vladimir Putin t-shirt and took a selfie with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov. I’m pretty sure that shirt is honoring Putin and making him look like a action movie star, which, uh, yeah.

Other Caps players actually made it out of the hotel rooms.

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Justin Peters Has His Braden Holtby Moment (GIF)

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Not sure this is the proper positioning.

Against the Devils Friday night, Braden Holtby gave up the game’s only goal on a bad giveaway. Holtby went behind the net, held onto the puck too long, then got stick checked and passed the puck right to a Devils player. Boom. Game-winning goal.

Saturday night, Justin Peters had his own Braden Holtby moment and it was equally as painful.

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On Friday, the Washington Capitals held a photoshoot for their annual dog calendar, benefitting Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. While we posted everything that was put up on social media that day by the Caps, we didn’t tell you that our very own Amanda Bowen went to the event and got her own photos.

And oh man, they are incredible.

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Justin Peters New Caps Mask

Photo: Amanda Bowen

Recently, a lot of Washington Capitals masks designed by Swedish airbrush artist Dave Gunnarsson have looked similar (which is kind of hard to avoid when you do a million of these). Justin Peters‘ new mask is, um, not one of those.

“In junior [hockey], my nickname was Pete-Dawg,” Peters began as he showed off his new bucket to RMNB Saturday. “That’s the whole theme behind my mask. It’s a dog, obviously. It’s got the mean teeth and stuff.”

The mask, which features a dog’s mouth wide open with yellowed, bloody canine teeth surrounding the opening of the mask, includes subtle details like the Caps weagle and stars. On the bottom of the mask, Peters’ nickname is found in a script font with a weathered look.

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Brooks copy

Photo: Amanda Bowen

One hundred sixty days after the Washington Capitals missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007, 66 players took to the ice in Arlington, Virginia looking to atone for a lost season. New head coach Barry Trotz put his players through a 45-minute practice and then a rigorous skate test, which left many exhausted, including Alex Ovechkin. This year’s training camp is supposed to be a hard one, part of Trotz’s plan to transform this team from an also-ran into a real success. The Caps have just two days of training camp to get their legs under them before the preseason opens on Sunday.

Below the jump are photos from the day via RMNB’s newest contributor, Amanda Bowen.

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The Washington Capitals were aggressive on the first day of free agency, adding three players to their roster: Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, and Justin Peters. Ted Leonsis wrote on his blog that the Caps “added offense, versatility, and experience in Niskanen and signed a shutdown D-man in Orpik.”

He also added, “priority No. 1 was to upgrade our defense, and we made significant strides today.”

I agree. The Capitals will dress better defenders next season. The team’s defense in 2013-14 lacked a true top pairing and the third pairing hemorrhaged shots on net all year, no matter who was put on the ice. The Caps were either going to have to be aggressive via trades or free agency, or they’d have to wait a few seasons for prospects to mature (Nate Schmidt, Patrick Wey, and Connor Carrick).

Caps GM Brian MacLellan decided to go the UFA route. Despite spending a ton of cash (nearly $70 million) and landing perhaps the best defenseman on the market, the mainstream hockey media filleted MacLellan for his moves.

Let’s review.

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