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In June, Finland’s Patrik Laine will likely be one of the top two selections at the 2016 NHL Draft. On Saturday, the 18-year-old forward helped lead Finland to a 3-1 victory over both Russia and his hockey idol growing up, Alex Ovechkin. Finland will play in the gold medal game tomorrow while the Russians will go for Bronze.

After the game, the top-ranked European-born prospect geeked out about playing against his hockey hero.

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Here’s Brooks Laich Posing With a Lion

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A few weeks ago, former Capital Brooks Laich and his Hollywood fiancee Julianne Hough went on an African Safari. Over the last few days, the couple have been sharing their photos from their trip, which included Laich posing with a lion. He looks very excited.

“Neither of us had been there before so it was a true bucket list moment for us to explore Kruger National Park in South Africa,” Hough wrote on her website. “The environment was breathtaking and the people were incredible. One thing I’ll never forget is zip lining from Zambia to Zimbabwe; we were able to literally be in two places at once!”

Laich seemed more intrigued by the dangerous animals.

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MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 19: Former Soviet National Team player Alexander Yakushev and newly elected IIHF Council Member Franz Reindl present the Player of the Game awards to Russia's Alexander Ovechkin #8 and Germany's Thomas Greiss #1 following Russia's 4-1 quarterfinal round win at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Photo: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images

Thursday in Moscow, Team Russia fell behind early in the first period to Germany 1-0. But when the Russians came out for the second period, they unleashed what the IIHF described as an “unrelenting onslaught.” Russia put on 37 shots on goal, scored three times in the second stanza, and defeated Germany 4-1.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal in four World Championship games, beating Islanders’ goaltender Thomas Greiss through the pads.

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Over the weekend, Andre Burakovsky took his World Championship bio picture for Team Sweden and it’s… definitely something we need to talk about.

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Wednesday night, the NHL announced that the Capitals’ Brian MacLellan is a finalist for the 2015-16 General Manager of the Year Award. MacLellan helped guide the Caps to the President’s Trophy (as the league’s best regular season team) and the most wins in franchise history (56) this season. Over the summer, MacLellan acquired key veterans TJ Oshie and Justin Williams and re-signed Braden Holtby to a long-term deal.

The Capitals have reached the 100-point plateau in each of MacLellan’s first two seasons as general manager. MacLellan was previously the understudy of long-time Caps general manager George McPhee, who pieced together most of the core of the current roster.

The Penguins’ Jim Rutherford and the Stars’ Jim Nill are also finalists.

MacLellan becomes the the fourth Capital up for an NHL Award this season. Mac will join head Ccoach Barry Trotz (Jack Adams Award), goaltender Braden Holtby (Vezina Trophy), and captain Alex Ovechkin in Las Vegas (Richard Trophy, Messier NHL Leadership Award).

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Photo: ESPN

Tuesday, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun published a feature on former Capitals Troy Brouwer and Joel Ward. Both players were a part of the Washington team that lost to the New York Rangers in Game Seven last season, and both players departed in the offseason. Brouwer was traded to the St. Louis Blues for TJ Oshie. Ward signed with the San Jose Sharks after the Capitals inked Justin Williams to a two-year deal.

Earlier this week, Ward and Brouwer addressed their former team’s flame-out in the second round.

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The Russian National Team remained undefeated Tuesday with the Caps trioka — Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov — on the roster. Russia beat Team Sweden 4-1 to finish second in Group A.

But the victory didn’t come without a scare – especially for Caps fans. In the second period, Evgeny Kuznetsov absorbed a dangerous hit from Swedish center Mikael Backlund as he skated into the offensive zone. Kuznetsov, who did not have the puck, was hit the head and shoulder by Backlund. Kuznetsov, woozy, needed help to get off the ice, but returned several minutes later after applying ice on the bench.

Team Russia head coach Oleg Znarok commented briefly on the play in his post-game press conference.

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evgeny-kuznetsov-injured

One of Caps fans’ biggest fears when players head overseas for international competition after the NHL season is the very real threat of injury. We got a taste of that threat today when Evgeny Kuznetsov had to be helped off the ice during Russia’s match against Sweden in the IIHF World Championships underway in Moscow.

Kuzy went down after taking a shoulder to the head from Mikael Backlund, a Swedish center who plays for the Calgary Flames. Kuznetsov did not have the puck.

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connor-carrick

At the trade deadline, the Washington Capitals traded Brooks Laich and prospect Connor Carrick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Daniel Winnik. After spending some time with the big club during the regular season, Carrick and his American Hockey League Toronto Marlies will face the Hershey Bears in the Eastern Conference Finals.

On Monday, the Marlies defeated the Albany Devils in a dramatic Game Seven. Carrick put the Marlies up 3-2 late in the third period.

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Photo: Boston Red Sox

On Saturday, former Caps in-game host and CRL contributor Guerin Austin got caught up in a bit of history during her new job as a sideline reporter for NESN. Forty-year-old designated hitter David Ortiz, who is in his final major league season, hit a walk-off double, giving the Red Sox a 6-5 11th inning win over the Astros.

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