Orlov and other Caps scratches look on from the press box. (Photo credit: Clydeorama)

It’s been a season of unexpected trials and disappointments for the Washington Capitals, but if there’s been one pleasant surprise, it’s been Dmitry Orlov. The young defenseman was not expected to make a permanent impact with the club this season, but after being called up on an emergency basis early in the year, Orlov simply earned his keep, becoming a mainstay even on a roster that frequently had defensemen to spare. Orlov has yet to play in the postseason, with the coaching staff so far relying on more experienced players to man the blueline, but if the Caps manage to make it past the first round, he may just get his chance.

Before the playoffs began, Orlov talked with Hockey World’s Andrey Osadchenko about about Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and his unexpected breakthrough year. I provide a translation below.

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Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

After Andrew Ference chucked a rebound past a helpless Braden Holtby, the Bruins took a commanding a 3-2 lead with 10 minutes to go in the game. The Caps’ hopes of clinching the series at home slipped away with that play…

Or at least until Alex Ovechkin slammed a puck through Tim Thomas’s five-hole with five minutes left to go. Despite countless cricitics declaring his decline, it was Ovechkin’s second goal and his fifth point in the series. He is the second highest playoff point-scorer among active players in the league.

The best part of the goal however, was Ovi’s jubilant celebration which included a face-first jump into the boards.

If you liked our new cover photo, you’re really going to love the photos below.

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Photo credit: Luc Leclerc

Way back in March when I was interviewing several people for my feature on Joe Beninati’s rookie card, Alex Carbajal, Panini’s License Acquisitions Manager and contributor to their trading card blog, forwarded me to a glorious blog post they had done earlier in the season.

The story goes like this: Tim Thomas was the cover boy of Panini’s 2011-12 Certified Hockey cards. When Thomas and the Bruins came to Dallas to take on the Stars in late December – close to Panini’s American Headquarters, Terry Hackler met Thomas at the hotel and they opened an entire box of cards. As Thomas went through a few packs, he shared stories about certain players that he pulled.

Well, lucky for us, he pulled a card of Alex Ovechkin and shared a story that might be of interest to you.

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Bruins beat Caps 4-3 (OT), We’re Going to Seven

Crash the net! (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)

Three times in Game Six did the Boston Bruins gain a lead over the Washington Capitals. And three times did the Caps tie it up. But the Caps just couldn’t finish off Boston.

Rich Peverley was credited for deflecting Bergeron’s blue-line bomb past Holtby. Mike Green got that back with a slapshot from way out, bouncing off Greg Zanon’s lower body in traffic. David Krecji used his speed to convert a power play and restore the Bruins’ lead. Jason Chimera evened it up by finishing off a great setup from Nick Backstrom at the end of the second period. Tyler Seguin’s rebound made easy feeding for Andrew Ference, giving the Bruins their third lead of the day. Alex Ovechkin canceled that out with a laser-quick  shot off the faceoff with just five minutes remaining.

Into overtime, which Boston dominated until Tyler Seguin got the game winner. Bruins beat Caps 4-3 (OT). We’re going to Game Seven in Boston.

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Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

With 42 seconds left in the second period, the Capitals tied Game Six up with a bizarre play that resulted in both Brad Marchand getting bloodied and Norris Trophy winner Zdeno Chara being faked out of his jock. Let’s review, shall we?

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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

Coming into Game Five, Troy Brouwer — one of three players on the team to have a championship ring (Knuble, Aucoin) — had five career playoff goals in his career, including one in the Stanley Cup Finals.

He picked a great time for number six.

After the Capitals first power play unit struggled mightily to do anything productive in their shift on a late third period power play, off the bench jumped John Carlson, Mike Green, Marcus Johansson, Brooks Laich, and Brouwer. Unlike their cohorts, they kept it simple.

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Caps beat Bruins 4-3! Almost There…

Crash the net! (Photo credit: Brian Babineau)

The Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins had split wins in each other’s cities. Saturday afternoon’s bout in Boston was the first of two games within 30 hours, and another example of how tight this series has been.

After a scoreless first, Alex Semin wristed the puck past Tim Thomas while Joe Corvo writhed in pain in the periphery. Jay Beagle sent a loose puck dribbling past Thomas to make it 2-0– the first time either team has had a two-goal lead all series. Dennis Seidenberg got some space from Ovechkin and beat Holtby near-side to get the Bruins on the scoreboard. Just a few seconds later, Marchand (with help from Peverley) pushed the puck through Holtby’s five-hole and tied the game.

And then…. in the third period…

KANOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOBLE!

Yes. Mike Knuble crashed the net to make it 3-2 for the Capitals. Johnny Boychuk tied it up while Dennis Wideman was in the penalty box. On the Brouwer Play, Troy Brouwer scored a brouwer play goal, his first brouwer play goal and the game-winner. Caps beat Bruins 4-3.

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Video: Greg Zanon’s Icing Fail

1:44 into Game 5 of the Caps Bruins series, Boston defenseman Greg Zanon skated back to his zone to touch a puck for an icing call. A simple play, right?

Not for these Bruins.

Instead, Zanon tripped over a linesman’s skate and careened hilariously into the end boards. Luckily for him, Zanon’s D-partner Joe Corvo was backing him up on the play and touched the puck.

Video is below the jump.

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Video: Alex Ovechkin Introduces His Linemates

This playoff year, NBC has introduced a new quirk into their coverage of the NHL playoffs: they allow one player from each team’s top line to introduce his linemates in a short segment videotaped in the locker room. Earlier in the Caps Bruins series, we were treated to Brad Marchand introducing his trio. Today, Alex Ovechkin had the chance to rock the mic. And he brought the awkward.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov: All Signs Point to Washington

Kuznetsov works out with the Russian National Team.

The last couple of weeks have been pretty crazy for the Caps fans: the late -season, nerve-wracking, but ultimately successful playoff push; the first round series against the Bruins with Thomas-vs-Obama-gate, Karl Alzner waking the bear, Brad Marchand’s impeccable impersonation of Greg Louganis, Nicky Backstrom’s return as Mean Lars — and even some pretty decent hockey at times.

Meanwhile, half a world away, at Team Russia’s training facility Novogorsk, the Caps’ highly touted prospect, Evgeny Kuznetsov, is quietly preparing for his first World Championship tournament (at least when the power doesn’t go out). Kuznetsov found some time to talk to the Dinara Kafiskina of Sportbox.ru about his KHL playoff experience, his chances to make Team Russia’s final roster for the, and… ah, who are we kidding? We know you only care about one thing: Is Kuzya coming to Washington? Sure enough, that very question comes up at the very end of the interview.

Follow us past the jump for our translation and analysis.

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