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Bondra scores late in the game. (Photos by Chris Gordon)

This year’s NHL Winter Classic has not had much buildup. Aside from the game, there isn’t much going on. The lack of an official alumni game — which had become a tradition at Winter Classics — angered and vexed many fans. Washington cancelled this year’s Caps Convention, saying they wanted to focus on Winter Classic events and has been hyping its former players all year long, with this season being the team’s fortieth anniversary. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, and Caps owner Ted Leonsis have all given competing answers as to why the event didn’t occur. Nevertheless, a group of former Caps, media members, and As Seen on TV people like NBC’s Washington Amelia Segal, took to the Nationals Park ice on Tuesday afternoon as part of an informal skate that came together in the past few weeks.

“I guess we all unfairly assumed that there would be one,” Alan May, who played in the game, said of an official alumni game, noting that Rod Langway and numerous former Blackhawks and Capitals expressed interest. “There’s nothing that can be done about it.”

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Before the second period began on Long Island, CSN-DC showed us this visionary fan.

Flanked by his children, both in Caps gear, both fixated on their smartphones, the father holds a sign: “I failed as a parent” with an Islanders logo.

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NationalsParkWinterClassic (12 of 13)

(Photos by Chris Gordon)

I rolled out of bed yesterday and headed to Nationals Park. The NHL was letting media members in for one final sneak peek before the Winter Classic festivities get underway on Tuesday. The ice crew finished painting the ice and placing the logos, but what really captured my interest was the crew of men attempting to erect a mini Capitol dome in center field, near where the teams will enter. After showing a few butt cracks and spending 45 minutes, the team finally got the top of the dome placed. It was joyous. It also appears a thing that vaguely looks like the White House will stand alongside the dome, which, it must be noted, does not figure the corrected scaffolding and white sheets surrounding it.

Below, take a look at my photos.

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Photo: @cakewinks

The Washington Capitals are playing their biggest rivals tonight. It’s the Washington’s first game in Pittsburgh this season. Just like the Winter Classic four years ago, Caps fans have invaded.

We’ve been tweeted a bunch a photos of fans rocking Caps jerseys and, for a few bold souls, our Deadguins shirts at Consol Energy Center.

I am such a proud papa. Look at this.

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ovechkin-ice-cream

Because EPIX loves us, they dedicated an entire segment of episode two focusing on Alex Ovechkin‘s unique personality, on display at a Washington Wizards game!

Sitting in extravagant courtside seats, EPIX paints a picture of just how non-extravagant this scene is. “Ovechkin prefers the front row than a luxury suite,” Not-Liev Schreiber says softly. “With no interest from hiding from the crowds or having someone else bring him what he wants.”

It’s at that very moment when we see Ovechkin pop up the Verizon Center stairs solo with a very important mission.

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Photo: @Ovi8

Do Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, and Orlov realize Burakovksy isn’t– like– Russian? What is going on here? I have so many questions. I just hope they feed him.

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In episode one of The Road To The Winter Classic, Tom Wilson and Michael Latta revealed that they are protective of their on-ice dad, Nicklas Backstrom. In episode two, Backstrom showed a rare glimpse of his life away from the rink, where he is actually a dad. The segments featured Backstrom’s daughter, Haley.

After returning home from New Jersey, Backstrom and girlfriend Liza took their one-year-old daughter to the park. “We were just on a road trip for six days,” Backstrom said. “You’re kind of like, ‘I wonder if she recognize me now?'”

The Swedish dad pushed Haley on a swing and rode down the slide with her. It’s adorable.

“It’s one thing to have a good group of guys on a team,” Backstrom said. “We’re all family, but it’s awesome to come home from games and enjoy her.”

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Photos: Eric Brooks

RMNB reader Eric Brooks, AKA the Ovechkin Beard Guy, was at Verizon Center last night. He appeared to have a good time. We saw him twice: first in a selfie during warm-ups with Ovechkin in the background, and then again when his beautifully coiffed crumb catcher made an appearance during CSN’s intermission.

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Capitals Auction Off Ugly Sweaters from Holiday Video

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Photos: Chris Gordon

The Capitals offered a special opportunity for fans at Monday’s game against the Senators. The team auctioned off the ugly sweaters the the players wore during their recent holiday video. And really, who wouldn’t want to hang up these hideous things in their living room year round?

There’s Braden Holtby’s Christmas sloth, Michael Latta’s “filthy animal,” and Marcus Johansson’s X-Mas themed Space Invaders sweater. But here’s where I warm your heart. These sweaters helped the Caps raise $3,050 total for Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic.

Chris was at Verizon Center and snapped photos of the auction items. Take a look!

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Santa Clause Sang the National Anthem Tonight and Killed It

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Photo: @capsredrockers

On Monday, the Washington Capitals broke out a special surprise for the seventh day of Hanukkah. Before their game against the Ottawa Senators, Santa Claus sung the national anthems. In sonorous tones reminiscent of Bob McDonald, Santa, who was definitely not Bob McDonald, belted out “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “O Canada” to the hundreds of fans in attendance, who cheered with bewilderment and amusement.

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