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The Caps withstood an early flurry by the Penguins and then took control of the first period of Game One. The scoreboard reflected the momentum when Andre Burakovsky scored his first goal of the playoffs, knocking in Jason Chimera’s rebound with a strong net drive.

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Late in the third period, Game Three turned into a sideshow. Pierre-Édouard Bellemare checked Dmitry Orlov from behind, shoving the Caps defenseman head first into the boards. The two teams brawled in the corner while Orlov lay on the ice, dazed.

Hall of Famer Jeremy Roenick called Bellemare’s hit disgusting and “totally inexcusable.” And if you thought that wasn’t bad enough, Radko Gudas tried to fight skill forward Andre Burakovsky during the chaos.

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Photo: Patrick McDermott

Jay Beagle scored his fourth career playoff goal, icing the game for the Caps late in the third period. Beags drove the center lane and nailed the top corner of the net like a 50-goal scorer, but I need to point out two crucial plays before that goal happened.

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“Finally got some beard! Swapped face!,” Andre Burakovsky wrote on Instagram. The Burracuda has since deleted the picture , but thank you, Tumblr, for preserving this forever.

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After the Caps’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Penguins, Barry Trotz called out his team, threatening to bench players who do not produce. One player who does not have to worry about such frivolous things is Andre Burakovsky, who has found a niche on the Caps’ second line.

Thursday, the Burracuda notched his 17th goal of the season in the third period, tipping a John Carlson saucer pass past Pens’ goaltender Matt Murray. The clutch scoar completed an improbable Caps comeback in which they were down three goals. It sent the Verizon Center crowd into a frenzy. Burakovsky did all of this despite a foggy face shield.

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Noted goon Marcus Johansson is at it again — wait, wrong Swede. What I meant to say was: Andre Burakovsky, the team’s player with the most penalty minutes — no, that’s not right either…

Oh. Tom Wilson and Michael Latta, penalty-box regulars, have been doing some very important work at practice recently: teaching their skill forwards how to fight. Playoff hockey is right around the corner, and even though fighting is discouraged, a player has to be ready for anything.

Unfortunately, it does not appear as if the skill forwards wanted to learn.

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Graphic by Amanda Bowen

Tuesday, Tom Wilson turned 22 years old. Willy Baby got a million well wishes online by Caps fans but it was three special wishes I want to point you to. They were from Wilson’s roommate Michael Latta (2) and Andre Burakovsky.

Latta called Wilson a lot of things I’m guessing he’s not and Burakovsky brought out the old #brobeans hashtag.

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Andre Burakovsky Signs a Box of Macaroni and Cheese

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Photos: Larry Johnson

There’s just something about hockey players and processed food.

On a beautiful Wednesday evening during an autograph signing at Collectible Heroes in Fair Oaks Mall, Andre Burakovsky was casually signing pucks and jerseys, as one does, but was surprised with two boxes of macaroni and cheese to autograph.

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Two weeks ago when Brooks Laich was traded to Toronto, the Caps lost a man who filled many roles. Laich was a solid contributor from the fourth line and penalty kill. He also was the man who cleaned up the pucks during warm-ups.

Well there’s a new guy in charge of that Very Important Role: Andre Burakovsky.

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Photos: Amanda Bowen

The Washington Capitals have won 47 of their first 63 games. Their 98 standings points are most in the NHL. The second place team, the Chicago Blackhawks, trail the Caps by 13 points. All year, the Caps have exhibited a razor-sharp focus.

But they’ve also managed to keep things fun and light when necessary. Earlier this week, long-time Capital Brooks Laich and prospect defenseman Connor Carrick were traded away to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Andre Burakovsky helped keep the boys’ spirits up.

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