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During the fall, 20-year-old forward Liam O’Brien was given an amateur contract from the Capitals. Back then, his goal was simply to stick around for a few more days. Instead, he became one of the most impressive players during camp, earning a three-year entry-level contract at its completion for his hard work and grit.

On October 14th, O’Brien notched his first NHL point (and first NHL tongue wag) against the San Jose Sharks. Against the Canucks on Sunday, O’Brien scored his first NHL goal on former Vezina Trophy winner Ryan Miller.

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Nicklas Backstrom Scores 500th Point (GIF)

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Playing the Atlanta Thrashers on October 5th, 2007, Nicklas Backstrom scored his first NHL point, an assist on Michael Nylander’s power-play goal. Five-hundred games and 2,570 days later, the 26-year-old Swedish center has scored his 500th career point, a power-play assist on a John Carlson goal.

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Photos: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images

Washington Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer hit a milestone on Sunday. The 22-year-old prospect, who will likely back-up Braden Holtby in Washington next season, won his debut on the international stage with Team Germany, a 3-2 in a victory over Latvia. Grubauer made 30 saves, defeating Tampa’s talented prospect netminder Kristers Gudlevskis in the process.

Grubauer’s role on Germany is unclear. Grubi served as a back-up to Rob Zepp in Germany’s first game of the tournament on Saturday, a 2-1 win over Kazakhstan.

Two weeks ago, Grubauer shut out Team Russia in a pre-tournament game.

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Joel Ward celebrates victory with teammates Ryan Ellis, Mark Scheifele and Nathan MacKinnon (Photo: Richard Wolowicz/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward scored two goals at the World Championship on Saturday as Team Canada beat Slovakia, 4-1, marking the first and second international goals of his career.

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This season has been a major blower, but there’s been one consistent bright spot. No matter what people say about his unsightly (but distorted) plus-minus, Alex Ovechkin has been phenomenal this year. On Tuesday he scored his 50th goal of the season, reaching the mark for the fifth time in his career. It was the first time he’s done so since 2009-10.

After the game, Ovi cheesed with the milestone puck.

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Alex Ovechkin is the first player to hit 50 goals in five seasons in a couple decades. His powerplay goal (naturally) in the first period of Tuesday’s game against St Louis introduced Ovechkin to the company of eleven storied scorers– including names like Gretzky, Lemieux, and Bossy.

Number fifty was nifty– a quintessential Ovi shot from the Ovi spot, clanging off the crossbar on its way home. Ryan Miller didn’t stand a chance.

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With forty-five seconds left in regulation and the Washington Capitals shorthanded and sans a goalie, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored one of the biggest goals of the season. Certainly the biggest of his career– seeing as it was his first. After Alex Ovechkin unleashed a rushed shot from the point, Kuzya did the dirty work in front of the net, backhanding the loose puck past Jonathan Quick. Game tied 4-4.

The goal set off a wild celebration among fans and players– with the exception of one guy, who had some captainly duties to perform.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov Poses With His First NHL Point Puck

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Yeah, this seems like it deserves its own thing. More to come!

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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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Photo: Capital Hill’s @md_dc

Saturday morning was a time for ceremonial hockey hardware to be awarded. Team Finland beat John Carlson and the US to take home the Bronze Medal in Sochi. Also, Troy Brouwer received some ridiculous 100 balloons from the Brouwer Rangers. About that last thing: on February 8, Brouwer netted his 100th NHL with an empty netter against the New Jersey Devils. With the Caps back from the Olympic break, Troy’s fan club presented him with his gift.

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