After a slow start in the first half, the Caps rode a streaking Alex Ovechkin to the playoffs in the second half of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. The Caps were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, but after a 10-14 start, just getting into the playoffs was a victory.
While Washington was able to pull it off last year, they are missing Mike Ribiero this year, who was a key figure in keeping the Caps respectable while they waited for Ovechkin to heat up. Ribiero was in the top three of all major offensive categories for Washington and his absence will leave a hole in the Caps' offensive attack. In an attempt to replace Ribiero, Washington signed Mikhail Grabovski to a one-year contract during the offseason to take over as the team's second-line center.
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