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Elliotte Friedman is one of the most connected and respected journalists in hockey. On Friday morning, Friedman released his latest 30 Thoughts article, in which he  expounded on why the Patrick Sharp trade never materialized.

The short answer: Joel Ward.

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So great. (Photo: @annasleong)

Washington Capitals defensemen/bros-in-real-life Karl Alzner and John Carlson signed autographs for Caps fans in Silver Spring Thursday night. The event was held by Sport Chevrolet, that car dealership they did commercials for this season.

In these types of settings, athletes can be asked to sign some silly items. Example: reader Eric presented Alzner with a printed-out Words With Friends screenshot. Eric had pwned Alzner on the mobile game earlier in the year and wanted to immortalize the victory.

Instead of open-hand slapping the fan, which is what I would have done, Alzner obliged. He’s so nice. He’s really, really nice. Nicer than I.

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Alex Ovechkin’s Shot Injured Someone Again

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The New York Rangers have announced that second-pairing defenseman Kevin Klein will miss the next three or four weeks due to an upper-body injury.

Klein was injured late in the third period on Wednesday after blocking what seemed to be an innocent wrist shot from… Alex Ovechkin. No, those kinds of shots are never innocent.

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Photo: @capivan8

During Wednesday’s practice, the Capitals welcomed a fourth Russian onto the ice. Four-year-old Maxim Goloschapov was flown from Moscow to Kettler Capitals Iceplex because he won a promotional campaign held by Bauer Russia.

A few months ago, Bauer asked their followers to “show us your hardest shot by putting it on Instagram with the hashtag #MX3Russia. The winner gets to go to Washington to meet Alex Ovechkin.” Teeny tiny Maxim won with these two videos.

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Photo: @katiejudd11

The Capitals mustered a strong comeback attempt in the third period, but they still lost to the New York Rangers. After a few solid shifts of Caps pressure, Martin St. Louis scored to put the Rags up 3-1 in the final minutes.

John Carlson had thrown a cross-ice pass to hit Nate Schimdt, but instead the puck was intercepted by Chris Kreider. A breakaway ensued.

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A game after earning his first career double-digit goal season, Jay Beagle has suffered an upper body injury. In the second period against the Rangers, Beags took a rough run from Dan Girardi in the neutral zone.

As Beagle reached for the puck, a charging Girardi hit Beagle in the left shoulder. The hit followed through to Beagle’s head. The Caps forward spun in the air and landed hard on the ice.

Beagle went to the locker room, but came back for two more shifts late in the second period. He did not return for the third.

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Every game, Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz jots his notes onto a notecard he keeps in his suit coat. As the Caps and Rangers left the ice for the first intermission on Wednesday, NBCSN showed a close-up shot of Trotz looking all philosophical-like, holding his top secret notes for all the world to see.

Let’s enhance!

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Alex Ovechkin is nearly impossible to stop on the power play– even if you know a shot his coming. He’s even more difficult to stop when one of your teammates deflects his shot and makes it go in the opposite direction.

That’s what happened during the Caps’ first-period power play against the Rangers. Evgeny Kuznetsov found Ovechkin near the right circle. Ovechkin shot, and then suicide-diving Jesper Fast deflected the puck past Cam Talbot.

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Photo: @CapsFan070

Alex Ovechkin is a top candidate for the Hart Trophy again this season. And if the national media has been paying any attention at all, Ovechkin will also be a finalist for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy at the end of the year too.

Ovechkin’s contributions to the community include giving away a car, fulfilling the wish of an 8-year-old with diabetes, going out on a sushi date with a 10-year-old with Down Syndrome, giving away countless sticks and pucks, and secretly supporting a bunch of Russian orphanages.

On Tuesday, the Capitals announced on Facebook that Ovechkin was fulfilling another young fan’s wishReagan Everett got a signed stick from the Russian Machine after Tuesday’s practice. According to the team he will “help cheer on the ‪Caps‬ during ‪[the Rangers game Wednesday] night!”

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Bensten Is Going Home Later This Week

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I’ve got some great news to share with you. Well, actually I’ll let Bensten tell you.

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