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On Friday, the Washington Capitals held a photoshoot for their annual dog calendar, benefitting Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. While we posted everything that was put up on social media that day by the Caps, we didn’t tell you that our very own Amanda Bowen went to the event and got her own photos.

And oh man, they are incredible.

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

In preseason action on Thursday, the Washington Capitals defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in the shootout. A who’s who of Capitals players took the ice. A separate who’s who of Capitals sat on the club level, watching the game in suits. Some even interacted with fans.

RMNB Photographer Extraordinaire, Amanda Bowen, captured all of this and more. The pics are stunning, so you pretty much need to see them.

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Karl Alzner Is Almost Back to DC (Photo)

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Let us rejoice. Karl Alzner‘s long journey from Canada is almost over. Only 39 days until Caps hockey begins again!

Photo: @KarlAlzner

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You knew it was coming. Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has taken up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and he has done it in true Ovi fashion.

Wearing only tight black shorts and a gold necklace, Ovechkin– whose head is cut off in the video– introduces the video from a shower before dumping ice water on his head.

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Karl Alzner: 2013-14 Season Review

Photo: Patrick McDermott

One half of the fabled Carlzner defensive pairing, Karl Alzner was sent to shut down the Caps’ toughest opponents all year. Plus: puppies and the best bench celebrations you’ve seen since that other guy.

By the Numbers

82 Games played
20.1 Average time on ice per game
2 Goals
16 Assists
47.0% Shot attempt percentage during 5v5
44.6% Goal percentage during 5v5
7.1% On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5
92.3% On-ice saving percentage during 5v5

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Despite not making the playoffs, a lot of Washington Capitals players still have some hockey left to play. Last week, Caps captain Alex Ovechkin announced that Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, and he will be representing Team Russia in the 2014 World Championships happening in Minsk, Belarus.

But what of the Caps’ Swedes? After winning a silver medal in Sochi, Marcus Johansson will likely not represent his home country due to a broken arm. On Thursday, Pär Mårts, Sweden’s national team coach, told Svenska Dagbladet that Nicklas Backstrom has turned down an invitation to play in the tournament this year.

When asked why, Mårts said Backstrom won’t be playing “for family reasons.”

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Photo: Chris Gordon

On Monday, the Washington Capitals held Breakdown Day at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. For two hours, Caps players filed out of the locker room and conducted exit interviews with the media. Because of the whole no playoffs thing, there were a lot of long faces.

There’s about three hours of interview video to surf though on Monumental Network. Because I hate myself and care only about you, dear reader, I’ve transcribed all the key quotes. And because this is RMNB, I also pointed out the fashion choices. Sadly, there was no crazy hair this year.

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Photos by Chris Gordon

After missing the playoffs for the first time in seven years, most Caps players were resigned when they spoke to the media after the game. However, the team’s annual Jerseys Off Our Backs ceremony added a little levity to an otherwise despondent day.

In particular, one member of the Capitals staff was skating around the ice wearing Google Glass, presumably filming the proceedings on them. Karl Alzner, though, wanted a try. As other players were giving away their sweaty garb, Karl tried on the gizmo wiz-bang for himself.

We’ll add the video to this post when it’s published, but for now take a look at some of my photos.

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The Achilles Heel of the Capitals Power Play

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Photo: Patrick Smith

The Caps are bad at defense and give up a lot of odd-man breaks. Even when they win, Washington can’t hide that flaw. One aspect of that is particularly troubling: the amount of rushes they allow on their own power play.

The Capitals man-advantage has kept them afloat all year, generating about a third of their offense. However, against the Stars their PP could barely get going. Dallas had two breakaways on Washington’s opening power play, which was quickly negated by a John Carlson slash.

“Usually odd-man rushes are our breakdowns, not necessarily great plays by them,” Carlson said after the game. “We can’t let that happen. We’re too good of players.”

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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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