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Photos: Chris Gordon

The Capitals held their annual Casino Night on Wednesday, where fans dropped serious cash on live and silent auctions. Caps players couldn’t participate in those auctions, but they were given a bunch of raffle tickets.

One of the items up for grabs: a chance to meet Alex Ovechkin. “It is my dream!” Dmitry Orlov joked as he looked over the raffle items.

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Gambling with Play Money: Caps Casino Night in Photos

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Yep. (Photos by Chris Gordon)

Wednesday night, the Washington Capitals held their fourth annual Casino Night at the Pentagon City Sheraton. Fans had the opportunity blow fake money gambling with their favorite players, as well as dishing out real money on a live auction featuring big-ticket experiences, a silent auction on equipment and memorabilia, and a raffle. The money made from Casino Night will benefit the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation. The team has raised nearly $1 million on past Casino Nights, and the live auction this year took in over $40,000.

“We did a got of research on craps,” Karl Alzner, who was there with his wife Mandy as well as her mom and grandparents, told me. “The correct throw and the technique and all that.”

“Even though it’s play money it’s still a lot of fun,” Alzner added. “We get to dress up.”

When I talked to Tom Wilson about the night, he had one main takeaway.

“Ovi’s pretty risky,” Wilson said.

Below, take a look at some of my photos from the night.

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While the Washington Capitals played great against the Pittsburgh Penguins, they fell 3-2, losing another game they really needed to win. But it wasn’t for a lack of effort.

Caps captain Alex Ovechkin attempted 8 shots, 4 of them on goal, and recorded an insane 7 hits, leading all players.

His most impressive collision was his third-period hit on center Brandon Sutter, which sent the center tumbling into the Penguins bench.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov will be living with Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin during his initial stay in America, and while he’s been really appreciative of Ovi’s kindness, he’s seemed lukewarm about being taken care of by his teammate.

Earlier in the week while still in Russia, Kuzya told Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov about his living arrangements, “It’s a bit awkward. Ovechkin is a grown-up, he has a future spouse. Why bother them? But at first I will stay with Sasha. He’ll explain everything, help me out.”

Well, judging by Ovi and Kuzya’s first day together, they are long-lost brothers. Maria Kirilenko now has two children to babysit.

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Photo: Nick P.

I thought it was a slam dunk. On Thursday night when I published an article promoting Alex Ovechkin’s appearance at an Alexandria, Virginia Verizon Wireless store, I thought our readers would send us back a bunch of happy stories about meeting The Great Eight.

The signed postcard everyone received.

The signed postcard everyone received.

And while we got some of those, unfortunately the responses we got back Friday night were mostly negative. I think for good reason too.

Many Caps fans battled rush hour traffic on the beltway (some even drove a couple of hours), to make one of Ovechkin’s rare public appearances. Fans brought jerseys, sticks, and photos to get signed. They were excited.

When they got there though, they were told “no photos” and that Ovechkin would sign only a small postcard which basically equated to a Verizon Wireless ad. In some ways, the rules were understandable: a lot of people showed up (reportedly a few hundred) and Verizon wanted to get them all through the line. I get that. But the lack of communication ahead of time by Verizon, destroyed a lot of people’s expectations upon arriving.

For one fan, the most biting moment was when after he was told no photos, he watched as Ovechkin posed inside with all of the Verizon Wireless employees.

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Meet Alex Ovechkin in Alexandria Friday Afternoon

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Who wouldn’t want to meet this guy? (Photo: Alex Brandon)

Washington Capitals captain and future hall of famer Alex Ovechkin will be among us mere mortals on Friday. He’ll be (I assume) signing autographs and taking photos from 4-6pm at the new Hybla Valley Verizon Wireless store in Alexandria, Virginia. I am told it’s the store’s grand opening.

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Photo: @a0gr8

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin just shared the last photo you’ll ever see of Michal Neuvirth and Martin Erat as Capitals.

“Last dinner with boys, and they gone!!” Ovi wrote on Instagram. “Good luck to them, and welcome new players to the team!” Neuvy is now off to Buffalo, where more playing time and opportunity await, and Erat to Phoenix, where at least it’s warmer.

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Alex Ovechkin Juggles the Puck Again (Video)

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has unrivaled puck skills. So much so that juggling the puck has become easy for him. In years past, Ovechkin would pull the move off only in All-Star Game breakaway challenges. Now he’s using the move in games and has even scored with it.

Saturday, Ovechkin juggled the puck again, this time after his and Patrice Bergeron’s sticks knocked the puck air-borne in the neutral zone.

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Ovi celebrates his 800th career point. (Photo: Alex Trautwig)

Alex Ovechkin is hitting a lot of milestones lately. So far this season he’s tallied his 1000th professional points, become the franchise leader in power play goals, and scored his 400th career goal. With two goals against the Bruins on Saturday, Ovi hit 800 points. He should hit 50 goals by the end of year too.

“It’s history,” Ovi told reporters after the game. “You always wants to be in the history. You always want to be on top of everybody. I try to do my best, but without my linemates and teammates I didn’t get those kind of points.”

Once again, this underscores the remarkable year Ovi has had. Ovechkin has a stunning 73 regular season goals since February of 2013. Under Adam Oates, Ovi has gone from an oft-criticized washed up star to the best sniper in the game — though, of course, he’s still criticized.

“I feel good about myself,” Ovi said. “I have a good feeling about my shot. Every time when I have opportunity to shoot the puck I’m going shoot.”

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Alex Ovechkin’s 800th Career Point

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In a season full of historic accomplishments, Alex Ovechkin had another in Boston on Saturday. The 28-year-old Washington Capitals captain became the 148th player in NHL history to score 800 career points.

Ovechkin, who was five points away of the milestone after the Olympic break, needed only four periods and change to reach the mark.

Ovechkin debuted for the Capitals on October 5, 2005, and is playing in his 658th NHL game.

Point number 800 was a beautiful, unstoppable one-time power play goal. Tuuka Rask never had a chance.

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