Here’s how the Caps celebrated Nicky Backstroms ECQF2OTGWG. Follow us past the jump for a massive GIF.

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Five minutes into the second period of the Capitals’ first playoff game in Boston, Alex Ovechkin skated the puck into the neutral zone looking to make a play. As he did, Dennis Seidenberg made a decision he might regret.

The Bruins defenseman thought he could catch Ovi napping at the red line and destroy him with an open-ice body check. Instead, the Russian machine got his arms up and this happened.

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Matt Hendricks Embarrasses Tim Thomas in the Shootout

By now we all know Matt Hendricks has Serious Shootout Skills. But the shootout is a gimmick, a sideshow that decides games for no good reason except to entertain fans. The shootout never really meant much… until tonight.

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GIF by welshhockeyfan.tumblr.com

While the glove kiss remains Alex Ovechkin’s first reaction to scoring, we’ve seen him add new flourishes over the years. There’s jumping into the glass and the hot stick fiasco, and now it’s time to add a new item to the list: the belly pat.

We like to think of it as the gestural companion to “attaboy”, something that a four year-old boy who just learned how to eat with a fork might do when he’s pleased with himself. It’s a thing of joy, of bravado, of that precise brand of smugness that makes Ovi so lovable to his fans and so infuriating to everyone else.

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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

With eight games left in the regular season and the Capitals struggling to hold onto the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, every standings point matters. So when the Caps were unable to break a 1-1 tie with the Flyers after 60 minutes of regulation and a five-minute overtime, the shootout carried high stakes.

Enter Matt Hendricks.

Dale Hunter selected Hendy as the Capitals first shooter. The Blaine, Minnesota native did not disappoint. Hendricks used his patented move, this time baiting Ilya Bryzgalov to pokecheck. Bryz missed, allowing yet another highlight-reel shootout goal for the team’s leader in penalty minutes. Video is below the jump.

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Photo credit: Nathan Denette

During the second period of the Capitals-Leafs game, Michal Neuvirth denied Toronto’s Carl Gunnarsson with a flashy glove save that deserves a spot on this week’s highlight reel. Video is below the jump.

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Video: The Hit That Supposedly Injured Alex Ovechkin

It’s difficult to pick out just one low point of Washington’s 5-0 blowout loss to Carolina on Monday, but if there’s any sight guaranteed to make a Caps fan’s heart sink, it’s Alex Ovechkin limping to the locker room.

There was a great deal of confusion as to what actually happened that night, but Dale Hunter set the record straight Wednesday morning — Ovechkin is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

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Bruins beats Caps 4-1, Brooks Laich Injured

The Washington Capitals returned to Verizon Center for a matinee match with the Boston Bruins, their second game in 24 hours. Disaster.

Milan Lucic scored after a bad read by Dennis Wideman gave him an opening. Brad Marchand made it 2-0 after Karl Alzner and John Carlson funneled the puck to their own crease. Marchand set up Tyler Seguin for the game’s third– and the second in which Dennis Wideman lost his man. A gorgeous 200-foot series culminated in a goal by Marcus Johansson (or Ward, whatever) and the end of Tim Thomas’s Sovereign Shutout. Peverly got the empty netter. Bruins beat Caps 4-1.

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Dmitry Orlov: Hockey Hits, Hipchecks, and More Hits

Orlov and Max Pacioretty fight for the puck. (Photo credit: Richard Wolowicz)

Way back on November 23rd, Dmitry Orlov registered his first NHL point in his second NHL game against the Winnipeg Jets. That night he also made his presence felt physically with two monster hits. On one, he hit Evander Kane so hard into the boards that his stick flew into the crowd. On the other, he laid out an unsuspecting Blake Wheeler with an open-ice hip check.

“I really like the physical element of the game,” Orlov told RMNB’s Igor Kleyner a few days later. “Always have, since I was a kid. One of the reasons I came to play here – there is more hitting. I like that.”

Well, here’s a hit you may not have even known happened. On January 13th against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Orlov caught Steve Downie with a hip check after the pest rifled a shot on goal. The hit flipped Downie end-over-end to the ice in hilarious spectacular fashion. Video is below the jump.

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Tuomo Ruutu is a pest. From picking on Nicklas Backstrom to giving Dennis Wideman world’s grossest injury, the dude is flat out annoying. So in the third period of the Caps’ 2-1 win over Carolina, Alex Ovechkin — after losing an edge — decided to take his anger out on the 28-year-old Finn. As Ruutu dumped the puck in the Capitals’ zone, Ovi leveled him into the boards with his titanium left shoulder. The hit was so powerful, in fact, that it took out both Ruutu and the linesman beside him. After the officials disallowed Laich’s second period goal, this is the kind of accident that’s nice to watch over and over on replay.

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