oshie-celebration

Ever since the playoffs started, TJ Oshie has been using a new Bauer Supreme 1S stick, migrating over from the Warrior brand. But it’s not just any Bauer twig. Oshie has been using one of Alex Ovechkin’s sticks from his personal collection.

I know this because RMNB reader @labattadm sent us a photo of the Capitals stick rack from Game One.

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detector-stabler-caps-fan

Hi, my name is Ian Oland. I’m driving this here Capitals bandwagon. Over the last few weeks, we’ve travelled all over North America, picking up many new friends. It’s been quiet lately, but with our boys owning a commanding 3-1 lead over rival Philadelphia, it’s time to whip the oxen and get back on Lord Stanley’s trail.

Tonight, we’re traveling to an undisclosed location to pick up former Law & Order: SVU star Christopher Meloni. Ah, Detective Stabler.

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Henrik Lundqvist Is Henrik Doneqvist

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Every year, the New York Rangers are a dangerous team in the playoffs because of Henrik Lundqvist. One of this decades’s best goaltenders, The King always has the ability to steal a series by himself.

Just maybe not this year.

Thursday, Lundqvist gave up four goals on 18 shots against the Pittsburgh Penguins, forcing Alain Vigneault to pull him for Antti Raanta during a TV timeout in the second period.

He looked like he wanted to cry.

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bensten-award-ceremony

While the Capitals were battling the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night, one tiny, important Caps fan from our community was accepting a major award. Bensten Schone was given the 30th anniversary Victory Award from the National Rehabilitation Hospital/Medstar. The event was held at the Mellon Auditorium and hosted by NBC 4’s Doreen Gentzler.

The Victory Award was created in 1986 to celebrate the victory of the human spirit and to honor individuals who best exemplify exceptional strength and courage in the face of physical adversity. B-Man overcame all odds last Winter after being struck by a vehicle while sledding. The RMNB and Caps community rallied behind Bensten and his beautiful family. You can walk down memory lane here.

Bensten, wearing a red Washington Capitals bowtie during, rubbed elbows with TV stars, CEOs, and paralympians.

“It’s only the second or third time a child has won the award,” Bensten’s mother Heather wrote to me. “The previous honorees are pretty impressive: political leaders, famous musicians, and actors. We were floored, and so very proud of him.”

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The Capitals Didn’t Lose, Fanatics Jinxed Them

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The Washington Capitals, who have dominated the Flyers on special teams all series long, had a slow start to Game Four and could never recover. Forced to play most of the night at even strength, the Caps couldn’t generate much offense until the third period. At that point it was too late.

That’s one way to look at tonight’s game. The other? Fanatics, an official partner of the NHL, hexed the Caps.

Here’s what happened.

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Michal Neuvirth is Starting Game Four

Flyers beat reporter Dave Isaac broke the news: Steve Mason is out, and Michal Neuvirth is in.

So it’ll be Holtby vs Neuvirth tonight. Prepare yourselves.

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Photo: Art Livak

Alex Semin is a champion.

Tuesday, the former Washington Capitals “Young Gun” and current 19-year-old Caps goaltending prospect Ilya Samsonov won the Gagarin Cup with Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Metallurg defeated CSKA Moscow at home in Game Seven, 3-1. The win comes after firing coach Mike Keenan part way through the season.

The Gagarin Cup is the KHL’s equivalent of the Stanley Cup. It is the same cup that Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom kinda-sorta technically won while they played in the KHL during the lockout shortened 2012-2013 NHL season. Semin scored 7 goals and put up 15 points in 23 playoff games en route to the final Game Seven victory. Samsonov was the backup goaltender throughout the playoffs, but he did post a 2-2 record in 6 appearances with a 2.29 GAA and a .916 save percentage.

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BellemareOrlov

Photo: Matt Slocum

Late in the third period of Game Three, Flyers forward Pierre-Édouard Bellemare delivered a reckless hit on Dmitry Orlov, driving the Capitals defenseman’s head into the end boards. He was assessed a five minute major for checking from behind and a game misconduct with a disciplinary hearing scheduled for Tuesday. In the evening, the NHL delivered its verdict.

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Brandon Manning skates around debris on the ice during Game Three (Photo: Elsa)

Wristbands have now taken their place among snowballs and batteries in the infamy of Philadelphia sports. During Monday night’s in Game Three of the first round against the Washington Capitals, Flyers fans melted down, taking off the light-up contraptions given to them before the game and hurling them onto the ice after their team took 35 penalty minutes on one play. The Flyers received another two PIMs later in the game because fans would not stop throwing their LED bracelets, despite an admonishment from public address announcer Lou Nolan on a night with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in attendance.

Sarena Snider, the daughter of Flyers founder and chairman Ed Snider who died last week at 83, tweeted that her dad “would’ve called the wristband throwers a ‘disgrace.’”

It was curious, then, that pallets of wristbands labeled “Game 2” appeared on the event floor of Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, the day before the Flyers are set to play their second home game of the series.

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holtbeard

Braden Holtby has saved 91 of 93 shots this series, good for a .978 save percentage, which isn’t bad when you think about it.

Cut to Tuesday’s practice at Wells Fargo Center. Holtby reportedly left about ten minutes in after colliding with a teammate. Holtby was seen favoring his left leg.

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