Alex Ovechkin‘s 900th career point wasn’t a classic Ovechkin goal. Instead of a raucous celebration following a hard shot, Ovi gave a simple glove kiss after knocking in his own rebound.

Carrying the puck into the Calgary zone solo, Rambo-style, Ovechkin put a snapper on Karri Ramo. Ramo had the answer for that shot, but he didn’t track the rebound. Ovechkin seized on the loose puck to give the Caps the lead and himself yet another milestone: 900 career points.

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Photo: Marianne Helm

Last week, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin slept through practice. Barry Trotz punished the forward by scratching him for that night’s game against the San Jose Sharks.

“It was suck,” Ovechkin said to the media at the time.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, this isn’t the first time in recent history that a Capital has missed practice.

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The Ovechpunch

In the game’s final moment, Evgeny Kuznetsov wrecked Carolina Hurricanes’ forward Kris Versteeg at center ice with a legal shoulder check into the boards. (Let’s ignore the fact the referees called a boarding minor on Kuzy. They weren’t on their game tonight.)

Versteeg, probably already pissed that his team was getting outplayed, did not appreciate the hit. He decided to deliver some frontier justice. As Kuznetsov skated over, Versteeg swung his stick at Kuznetsov like he was trying to hit a game-winning homer. Tsk tsk.

In the education industry, they call this a “teachable moment.” Versteeg’s hockey professor was Alex Ovechkin.

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Photo: Geoff Burke

Early in the summer, the Caps revealed that Nicklas Backstrom had hip surgery. Despite leading the league in assists, it was an issue that plagued Backstrom all season long. Without the Swede, we assumed the Caps first line would struggle. Over the first two games, especially after Alex Ovechkin was scratched on Tuesday, the line couldn’t find its voice. However, against the Blackhawks, the trio of Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and TJ Oshie was an offensive force. Members of the line contributed two goals and five points on Thursday, leading the Caps to a 4-1 victory. Now head coach Barry Trotz may keep them together even after Backstrom returns.

“They’ve got some chemistry,” Trotz said after the game. “I think what happens with a line is it needs some time to talk things out. I think that there’s a mutual respect. I think that they’re just learning each other.”

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Nicklas Backstrom may return this weekend from hip surgery, but Evgeny Kuznetsov is making his case for top-line pivot, as crazy as that sounds. In 20:15 of ice time, Kuznetsov showed poise with the puck and was a forechecking demon. He finished the game a plus-two in on-ice shot attempts (17 for, 15 against) for a 53.12 percent shot-attempt percentage at even strength.

Kuznetsov also tallied the primary assist on TJ Oshie‘s first goal as a Capital, a power-play marker. And this insane highlight-reel goal by Alex Ovechkin.

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After rejoining his teammates on the ice at the end of last month, Nicklas Backstrom continues to progress in his recovery from offseason hip surgery. On Wednesday, he took part in a full practice for the first time this season after being cleared for contact by his doctor on Monday afternoon. His return appears to be on the horizon.

“It’s probably gonna be day-to-day,” head coach Barry Trotz said when asked what Backstrom’s status was. “Obviously when a guy gets cleared it falls into a shorter time period. It also depends on how he feels once we bump him around a little bit and check him up.”

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Photo: Patrick Smith

On Tuesday, Alex Ovechkin missed the morning skate and the game against the Sharks later that day. The team said it was for “personal reasons.” Now we know what those reasons were: he overslept practice and was benched by head coach Barry Trotz.

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Alex Ovechkin Out Versus San Jose Sharks


Photo by Amanda Bowen

Alex Ovechkin missed the Caps’ morning skate due to personal reasons. He was then considered a game-time decision. Two hours ago, it looked like Ovechkin wouldn’t play tonight.

And then, Ovechkin showed up!

But alas, no Ovi tonight vs. the Sharks.

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Last Thursday, the Washington Capitals held their annual season-ticket holder party at Six Flags America and it was a bunch of fun. There were ketchup bottle cookies, dominant whack-a-mole performances, an Oshie/Yoshie meeting, and spur of the moment tattoos. Now the team’s releasing GoPro footage of some Caps and their significant others riding a roller coaster.

It’s mandatory viewing — especially because of how scared TJ Oshie is before the Superman’s first big drop.

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On Saturday night, 24-year-old defenseman John Moore had the worst night ever. The Devils, who should finish in the cellar of the Eastern Conference, were playing their second game in consecutive nights. They managed, however, to be tied with the Capitals 2-2 though 46 minutes of play. The Devils were in a position to win against a very good team. Then Alex Ovechkin happened.

The Russian machine did The Move. Ovechkin tossed the puck through his own legs, using his body as a shield. Moore missed with a pokecheck. Ovechkin then dipped his shoulder and ripped a shot past Keith Kinkaid bar down. It was a legendary play by a legendary player.

Moore’s response: rage.

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