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Lovejoy celebrates his goal (Photo: Rob Carr)

Capitals defensemen Dmitry Orlov went for the big hit, hoping to take Penguins center Nick Bonino out at the blue line. Instead, Orlov missed, colliding with Nate Schmidt. Bonino was left with an unfettered path to the net. He shot the puck on Braden Holtby before Ben Lovejoy cleaned up the rebound at the midway point of Game One on Thursday, tying the score at one.

Orlov, who, like Schmidt, is playing in his first postseason in the NHL, didn’t see the ice for the rest of the game, save for a brief 25-second shift early in the third period. He finished with less than six minutes of time on ice.

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Photo: Matt Slocum

Late in the third period of Game Three, Flyers forward Pierre-Édouard Bellemare delivered a reckless hit on Dmitry Orlov, driving the Capitals defenseman’s head into the end boards. He was assessed a five minute major for checking from behind and a game misconduct with a disciplinary hearing scheduled for Tuesday. In the evening, the NHL delivered its verdict.

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Monday night at Wells Fargo Center, Dmitry Orlov became the target of the Philadelphia Flyers’ rage, as Pierre-Édouard Bellemare sent the Caps defenseman headfirst into the boards. As Orlov received medical attention on the bench, a Flyers fan threw a bracelet from the stands, striking Orly in the left cheek. Although bloodied, Orlov remained in the game and later assisted on a power-play goal by Jay Beagle, making the final score 6-1.

In the locker room, Orlov conducted a Russian-language interview with SovSport’s Natalia Bragilevskaya and spoke about how the game turned into a sideshow in the third period.

“Sometimes you just want to get the puck,” Orlov said. “But when they play dirty against you, that’s not hockey. I don’t even know what to call it. I don’t want to talk about it.”

Orlov confirmed he was “fine,” but said he’d prefer the Caps not “prolong this series.”

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Flyers forward Pierre-Édouard Bellemare sparked a line brawl during Game Three against the Capitals Monday after he boarded Dmitry Orlov late in the third period. Bellemare earned five-minute major and a ten-minute game misconduct penalties, but the worst (for him) may be yet to come.

The league’s Department of Player Safety announced Bellemare will have a hearing today for the hit, which should could earn him supplemental discipline in the form of a suspension. No official word from DoPS on whether the hearing will be in person or over the phone.

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Photo: Elsa

At first, it all went according to plan. The house lights went down at exactly 7 PM. The arena lit up in a sea of orange and white lights glimmering off commemorative wristbands. A tribute to the recently deceased Ed Snider, who founded the Flyers in 1967 and had owned the team ever since, played on the big screen. All of Wells Fargo Center, from the seating bowl to the benches to the press box, applauded a great owner. Then Kate Smith and Lauren Hart sang their trademark “God Bless America” duet. Within a minute of puck drop, the Flyers had the first goal, wildly sliding into the boards in celebration. The roar from the fans was booming. This was their night for their owner.

“Ed was a dynamic visionary who turned Philadelphia into one of the great hockey towns in the world,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said before the game in a heartfelt press conference. “He believed in excellence — and in this team, the Flyers.”

But in the end, that team let him down.

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After falling behind 4-1 late in the third period, the Philadelphia Flyers tried to hurt people. Flyers forward Pierre-Édouard Bellemare checked Dmitry Orlov in the numbers, causing the young Russian to slam into the boards head first. Orlov has a history of concussion problems.

It was a chickenshit hit.

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Photo: Patrick Smith

Wednesday morning, Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner was asked about the defensive pairing of Nate Schmidt and Dmitry Orlov. They were both set to make their NHL playoff debuts in Game One of the first round against the Philadelphia Flyers. He paused halfway through his answer.

“You know, I’m just thinking, laughing in my head about Schmitty,” Alzner said. “He’s always so excited for a regular season game, I can’t imagine what he’s gonna be like for a playoff game. It’ll be fun.”

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Barry Trotz Did Not Enjoy Dmitry Orlov’s Pizza

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The Capitals gave up one goal Monday night in their 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The victory clinched the President’s Trophy, but Barry Trotz wasn’t happy. He wanted a shutout.

“What I liked about us is that we didn’t give [the Blue Jackets] much,” Trotz said. “Their goal, I thought this could have have been a team shutout. I didn’t think Holts was worked too hard.”

Trotz was referring to Cam Atkinson’s 27th goal of the season that came late in the first period. The Blue Jackets forward scored after Dmitry Orlov turned the puck over in the defensive zone.

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Dmitry Orlov Nominated for 2016 Masterton Trophy

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Photo: Rob Carr

Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov has been nominated for the 2016 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. Nominees are voted upon by the team’s local chapter of the PHWA. Per NHL.com, Masterton Trophy nominees should epitomize “perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”

Orlov is a fitting nominee. This season marks his return to the NHL as a core part of the Caps’ defense. Under Adam Oates, Orlov was not afforded a chance to become a top-four defenseman; in 2013-14 he bounced between a limited role in the NHL and the AHL If that season was a disappointment, Orlov’s 2014-15 season (or lack thereof) was disastrous — or “forgettable,” in Orlov’s own words.

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Saturday night, the Washington Capitals got shut out by the Blues 4-0. St. Louis’ first goal, by Kyle Brodziak, started with a turnover behind the net by Caps defenseman Dmitry Orlov.

CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Alan May, a veteran of 393 NHL games and 17 professional seasons of hockey, broke down the play and showed how Orlov can learn from veteran Brooks Orpik. This is brilliant stuff (and no, he didn’t pay me to write that, though he probably should, considering how mean he is to me online).

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