Kuznetsov absorbs a hit in Traktor’s season opener against Dynamo. (Photo credit: HC Traktor)

Washington Capitals top prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov played all of 30 seconds in his team’s second game of the regular season, a loss to Vityaz Podolsk, 5-3.

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Alex Ovechkin’s Walking Boot (Photo)

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After Russia was eliminated from the World Championships in Helsinki on Thursday, a league source told The Washington Post’s Katie Carrera that Alex Ovechkin suffered a hairline fracture in his foot after blocking a shot in game six. Late Thursday, as the Russian national team landed in Moscow, Ovi was photographed in the terminal by R-Sport with his luggage, including a walking boot. Poor guy.

If Maria wants to make wedding plans, this is the time to do it. He’s hobbled; he can’t run away!

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Ovechkin speaks to the media at Kettler on Tuesday. (Photo credit: Alex Brandon)

Alex Ovechkin played in 86 games between the NHL and KHL this year. Though the season was lockout-shortened, several Capitals stars were still bruised and battered. Nick Backstrom injured his neck in Russia, Brooks Laich injured his groin in Switzerland, and various others dropped off along the way. We know now Ovi was playing through some sort of injury as well.

“Of course, there were aches and pains,” he told Slava Malamud of Sport-Express in Russian after game seven Monday. “Won’t say anything about needles, but injuries are always there. There were enough hits and physical play.”

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Brooks Laich practices in his shorts and tennis shoes.

Photo credit: The Washington Times’ Stephen Whyno

Washington Capitals do-it-all forward Brooks Laich hasn’t skated since February 16, so today was sort of a milestone. Via The Washington Times’ Stephen Whyno, Laich, donning shorts and sneakers, did some stick-handling and passing drills with General Manager George McPhee’s son, Graham, after today’s Caps practice. Katie Carrera also has a photo of Laich on the ice today too.

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Matt Hendricks Thinks He Has Broken His Nose Five Times

Matt Hendricks broken nose

Photo credit: @recordsANDradio

One day in 7th grade, I was playing basketball at recess with some friends. After I missed a layup, one of my female friends made fun of me and I called her a not-so-nice word. She responded by tapping me on the shoulder and then kicking me in the business. The next three hours were spent in the nurse’s room, wailing and applying an ice pack to my nether regions.

On Tuesday night, Washington Capitals forward Matt Hendricks did everything I couldn’t back in middle school. His grit on full display for the 168th game in a row, Hendricks broke his nose during a second period scrum and didn’t miss a shift. Instead of yelping in the corner like a normal human, Hendricks had a superb game in which he put two shots on goal, had five blocks, and won three of four face-offs.

Spotted by the media after a practice in Tampa Wednesday, Hendricks showed off his stitches and guessed at how many times his nose had been recalibrated.

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Nick Backstrom is Visiting a Specialist in Michigan

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Photo credit: khl.ru

On Tuesday morning, far-flung Caps players reunited at Kettler Capitals Iceplex for an informal practice session. Present but not skating was the team’s star center, Nick Backstrom. Backstrom has not played since late December, when he took a hit from behind in a Dynamo Moscow game. According to SportsBox.ru, a doctor in Moscow said the injury was just a bruise, but Backstrom’s agent has since said his player’s status may be week-to-week.

On Tuesday night, we learned that Backstrom is visiting a specialist in Michigan.

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Dmitry Orlov sits with the other scratches during Saturday's Bears game

Dima sits with the other Bears scratches during Saturday’s Bears game. (Photo credit: Katie Stansbery)

When Dmitry Orlov came out of the tunnel for the AHL Showcase game last month, he was excited to see fans back at Verizon Center. It was the reason why, in his opinion, he played the best hockey of his season. The AHL gamesheet says that the 21-year-old defenseman recorded two shots on goal that first period, but Dima remembered it being closer to four or five.

Unfortunately, as he confirmed to me on Saturday night during the first intermission of the Bears/Senators game, Orlov suffered an injury after absorbing a hit from Emerson Etem. Due to team policy, Orlov would not reveal the nature or location of his injury.

After spending two weeks recovering, Orlov has begun riding an exercise bike and lifting weights. According to Hershey Bears head coach Mark French, Orlov is close to getting back on the ice for practice again.

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Dmitry Orlov

Photo credit: Jordan Tenenbaum

On December 6th, the Verizon Center hosted the AHL Showcase between the Hershey Bears and Norfolk Admirals. Due to the lockout, it was the first hockey game played in Washington since May 9th, when two current Bears were playing with the Capitals: Braden Holtby and Dmitry Orlov.

While Holtby dominated in the Bears 2-1 victory during the Showcase, Orlov made it through just the first period before leaving the game due to injury. Since then, Orlov has missed ten games– a month’s worth of action. Bears radio announcer and PR man Scott Stuccio told RMNB on Thursday night that the Novokuznetsk-native is not close to returning yet.

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Photo credit: Dynamo.ru

Playing overseas may keep some NHL players in top form during the lockout but the dreams of their general managers are haunted by a nightmare scenario — a serious injury to a star player.

Last Wednesday, Nicklas Backstrom was involved in frightening episode, in which he was checked from behind while playing for Dynamo Moscow. Backstrom, who missed three months last season with a concussion, went headfirst into the boards and left the game after trying to play one more shift. Dynamo called the injury a “neck bruise” and said the pivot should be good to go by the next game. As of the weekend, Backstrom saw at least two doctors, and a Russian newspaper report speculated that Nicky had traveled to America due to the injury’s severity. According to Nicky’s Swedish agent, Gunnar Svensson, that’s not true.

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“Owwie!” (Photo credit: championat.com)

Almost one year ago to the day, Calgary Flames’ winger Rene Bourque elbowed Nicklas Backstrom in the side of the head, forcing the Capitals number-one center to the sidelines for three months with a concussion. The Capitals struggled in his absence, but 40 games later, after being magically healed by Tiesto, Backstrom returned for the playoff push and suffered no apparent setbacks.

On Wednesday, Backstrom fans got another scare when Nicklas took an awkward second period hit from Milan Kytnár during Dynamo’s 2-1 (SO) win over Slovan.

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