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NHL Washington Capitals

2013 NHL Playoffs: 5 Most Important Players for the Washington Capitals

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NHL Playoffs 2013: 5 Most Important Players for the Washington Capitals

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Evan Habeeb-USA Today Sports

Every team has players that they need to perform night in and night out if they want to win. In the playoffs, those players need to perform at even higher level. When the lights shine the brightest, the stars need to perform.

The Washington Capitals are the three seed in the Eastern Conference and already have the series lead over the New York Rangers in large part due to their key players.

Obviously when you think of the Capitals, you automatically think of the name Alexander Ovechkin. Of course, he is one of the top players in the NHL, but he is as good as he is because of both his skill along with the skill around him.

The Capitals were fourth in the league scoring three goals per game, and trust me, Ovechkin doesn’t get points on all of them.

Like every team, the Capitals have big-name players, but the big-name players are always the key players for every team. You need to have role players fill in and do their jobs in order for teams to win.

You might know who the top couple of people will be on this list, but if you’re not a die hard NHL fan you might not of ever heard of the last two because they are role players and mean more to the team than the star players do.

As the Capitals look to win the Stanley Cup, these five players will be the most important ones for Washington.

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5: John Carlson

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James Guillory-USA Today Sports

Part of the reason the Rangers haven’t scored this series is because of great defense. John Carlson is part of that group and he had an outstanding +/- of +11 in the regular season.

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4: Braden Holtby

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Geoff Burke-USA Today Sports

A goaltender is important on every single team in the playoffs, and Holtby hasn’t let down anyone so far. He has allowed just one goal in the two playoff games combined so far.

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3: Mike Green

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Geoff Burke-USA Today Sports

Mike Green is one of the top scoring defensemen in the league, and he showed his scoring ability on his game winning snipe in game two. Green is a great defenseman who can score, and he is a vital part of the Capitals' team.

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2: Nicklas Backstrom

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Geoff Burke-USA Today Sports

Nicklas Backstrom is the Caps' center, and he is a good one. As the center you are more worried about your assists than your goals, especially when you are skating alongside Alexander Ovechkin. Backstrom led the team with 40 assists while lighting the lamp only eight times. He still had 48 points on the season to go along with a +/- of +8.

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1: Alexander Ovechkin

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Evan Habeeb-USA Today Sports

This is a no brainer. Ovechkin is one of the best players in the league and easily the best on the Capitals. He led the team with 56 points and 32 goals in the regular season.