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Photo: Japers’ Rink

In things-I-didn’t-think-I’d-be-writing-about-after-midnight, two-time Peabody award-winner Larry King decided tonight was the night he should go public about who his favorite NHL player is. That player happens to be a certain Russian Machine.

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Alex Ovechkin Takes Over the League Lead in Points

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Photo: @JeffBessling

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the Washington Capitals were dominating the NHL leaderboard. Another fun milestone comes tonight. Alex Ovechkin has taken over the league lead in points from… Nicklas Backstrom! Yup, it’s still a great (er, GR8) time to be a Caps fan.

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Things got a little chippy between the Caps and Leafs about halfway through the first period. Tom Wilson nailed Zach Sill in the corner.

Then something weird happened on the bench.

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ovi-goal-team

Photo: Patrick McDermott

Alex Ovechkin just scored again– this time thanks to a smart play by Brooks Orpik. Orpik, winding up from the point, fired a shot that Leafs goaltender James Reimer could not corral. The rebound spilled to Ovechkin in the slot, who backhanded the puck home.

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Thirty-three seconds into Sunday’s game, Alex Ovechkin scored his 40th goal of the season and his 462nd career goal. It’s the seventh time Ovi’s done that in his ten NHL seasons.

Naturally, this was deserving of a celebration.

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Photo: @nikkibrust

Last week, the Caps and Penguins played one of the most tense games of the season. It included a first-period brawl that spilled onto the Pens bench. For whatever reason, NBCSN showed us just one or two angles of the dust-up and then moved on. On Reddit, user beardyman22 shared a story that didn’t make it to air that night.

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Jack Hillen Gets No Respect (Photo)

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Photo: @jennrubenstein

Over the last five years, journalist Adam Vingan has put his his heart and soul into covering the Washington Capitals. On Wednesday, Vingan announced that will be leaving the Capitals beat on March 16.

Vingan, hired by The Tennessean, will essentially replace the talented and respected Josh Cooper on the Nashville Predators’ beat. Cooper currently writes for Yahoo’s Puck Daddy. Vingan will be leaving behind his work for NHL.com, Washington Post Express, and NBC Washington.

While this is great news for Vingan, I am bummed. I consider Adam a good friend. I marvel at how he’s helped grow the Capitals community. He’s given me advice and helped me become a better writer and journalist.

There may be no better pun-maker in all the land.

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Report: Capitals Targeting Another Top-Nine Forward

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Even though the NHL trade deadline is still five days away, a flurry of deals have already been made. The Devils dumped Jaromir Jagr to the Panthers; the Hurricanes traded Jiri Tlusty to the Jets and Andrej Sekera to the Kings; the Penguins acquired Daniel Winnik from the Leafs; and the Blue Jackets took David Clarkson from the Leafs for some ungodly reason.

The already small group of rentals and useful players has gotten even smaller.

“You need two to dance and we’re going to the dance and there’s 30 guys and there’s only about eight girls at the dance,” Barry Trotz said to The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt Thursday, essentially calling the 2015 trade deadline a sausage fest. “That’s what it is. There’s only going to be like eight or nine guys dancing.”

Early Thursday, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that Brian MacLellan has been burning the phone lines pursuing another top-nine forward.

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Photo: Caps Instagram

Braden Holtby has been busy this year, playing in 53 of the Capitals’ 62 games. Maybe that’s why he just unveiled his fourth new mask of the 2014-15 season. Painted by Swedish artist Dave Gunnarsson, the mask integrates some design features from Holtby’s Winter Classic bucket. The hand-painted Uncle Sam portrait, an homage to Olie Kolzig, returns on the chin.

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