Photo: Geoff Burke

As Peter pointed out in the recap, Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen hadn’t scored since the first week of the season, a span of 115 days and 47 games. Sunday against the Flyers, Niskanen scored the game-winning goal.

It was random.

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For the second year in a row, Ovechkin has scored his 30th goal on Super Bowl Sunday. Last time it was an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot, assisted by Mike Green, and scored on the Blues. This time it was an atypical tip-in to tie the game.

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Three-on-three overtime was looking grim for the Capitals. Hemmed in the defensive zone for long while, the Caps were looking gassed. A Devils goal seemed inevitable.

And then Alex Ovechkin, seemingly annoyed he was still stuck on the ice, decided to level Jacob Josefson with an open-ice hit. It was about as powerful as the bodycheck Ovechkin leveled Jaromir Jagr with in the Olympics.

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Alex Ovechkin made his grand return on Thursday after he served a one-game suspension for skipping the All-Star Game. Ovechkin, in Great 8 form, scored the game-winning goal because of course he did.

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In addition to the Isles game, Thursday night at Verizon Center is also Military Appreciation Night. The Caps donned camo uniforms for warmups and sold Courage Caps (as in hats) for a good cause, but the best moment was the ceremonial puck drop.

Captains John Tavares and Alex Ovechkin joined Lance Corporal Josh Misiewicz, USMC, of the USA National sled hockey team at center ice for the ceremony.

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Editor’s note: Katie and Daniel recently welcomed a little bundle of joy into their lives in December, and they want to tell you about it.

I grew up in Northern Virginia. I’ve been a DC sports fan for as long as I can remember. My life revolved around the Redskins, Wizards, and the Caps and that will never change. My wife Katie, a Pittsburgh girl born and raised, and I met while in college.

While I’ve given it my best shot, I have never been able to change her mind when it comes to football, however hockey was surprisingly a blank slate. She would occasionally watch the Caps with me as I taught her the rules of the game and soon enough she was hooked, especially on the Caps.

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

At last year’s All-Star draft in Columbus, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin went on a passionate, and at times bizarre, quest to get picked last and win a new car. Ovechkin, who already has a fleet of sport and luxury vehicles at home, did not need another automobile. Viewers at home thought it was a long, elaborate joke.

In the end however, Ovechkin’s quest to win a free car was one of the most charitable and kind moments of the NHL season. Ovechkin was not picked last, but when Honda learned of his idea– to donate the car to Ann Schaab and the American Special Hockey Association’s Washington Ice Dogs — the car company happily agreed to do so, setting up an event a month later at a local dealership.

In interviews with ASHA officials and volunteers, I learned that Ovechkin’s gesture had a profound and long-lasting impact on the team and the organization that benefits special needs hockey players.

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Photo: @HockeyHallFame

On Saturday, the Hockey Hall Of Fame got a whole lot gr8er as they announced on Twitter that Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has donated his 500 goal gloves to the Toronto museum. You’ll notice that the Bauer APX2 Pro gloves have Sergei Ovechkin’s name stitched on the thumb as well as two eyes. It’s a tribute to Alex’s older brother.

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After Thursday’s game, the Washington Capitals announced that Alex Ovechkin would sit out this year’s All-Star Game due to a nagging lower-body injury. Barry Trotz said Ovechkin had been dealing with the issue since mid-November. Ovechkin joked that he aggravated the injury while clearing snow from his house.

If Ovechkin had been dealing with an injury, Ovechkin’s father Mikhail never knew about it.

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Sports Illustrated has published Alex Prewitt’s special, behind-the-scenes story on the Capitals. Though, I have to warn you, the article sounds more like it’s describing life at a science lab or a hospital than a hockey team.

We learn about Caps trainers giving players dissolvable tablets of magnesium to improve their brain function and packs of powdered Pedialyte to replenish their electrolytes. There’s mentions of Jay Beagle drinking coconut water, Nate Schmidt eating pears, and Braden Holtby drinking 17 liters of fluid before a game, which includes salt water and a pink electrolyte concoction. Then there’s future Hall of Famer Alex Ovechkin, whose winning formula involves drinking three cans of Coke by game time. Perhaps he was inspired by Dale Hunter’s preferred sports drink?

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