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Posted at 3:30 PM ET, 03/10/2011

A night to celebrate

By Nicole Weissman

This season hasn't been like last season. Instead of 20-game victory lap a the end of the season before claiming the President's Trophy, the Caps are still trying to find their stride, integrating new players with players returning from injuries to try to get the chemistry right. Last year, the playoffs couldn't come soon enough. This year, last night was the first time I felt enthusiasm for the coming post-season.

Last night, we played down to nobody, and we marched through a game we should have marched through. But despite the strength of last night's team effort, there are obviously some individual shout outs that need to be given.

Shout out to Jason Arnott on his 900th career point. When he stood up and waved to the crowd (and smiled for the first time in recorded history), I hope we showed him the respect we have for his career, and how glad we are to have him here in Washington.

Shout out to Eric Fehr for a two-goal performance returning from a 22-game injury. I knew it was good to have him back, I guess I just didn't know how good it was!

Shout out to Dennis Wideman on his 200th career point. A little more shy in acknowledging his achievement, but it was nice for us to share a milestone with a guy who's new in town, but going to be with the team for awhile.

Shout out to Marco Sturm on his first point as a Capital. The guy's been in the right place at the right time over and over again, but somehow it just didn't happen until last night. Glad to see his luck my be changing.

Shout out to Alex Semin for extending his current point streak, and doing it in style. The guy has such outstanding moves, and if he thinks now is a good time to get hot, I'm inclined to agree.

Shout out to Nicklas Backstrom, whose impressive streak of 341 consecutive games played ended last night, but deserves to be acknowledged because it's so illustrative of his hard work and dedication.

Shout out to Braden Holtby on his first NHL shutout. I absolutely think he's the greatest, and if I were to choose, he would be a big part of the future of goaltending in Washington. He made some great saves on his way to earning the shutout, too.

And finally, shout out to Alex Ovechkin on 600 career points, 600 points as a Capital, and passing Michal Pivonka to become third all-time in Caps scoring. I don't gush about Ovie all the time because I don't feel like I have to, but when he's smiling, it lights up Verizon Center, and when he's on fire, there's nothing more fun than being a Caps fan.

By Nicole Weissman  | March 10, 2011; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Capitals, Nicole Weissman  | Tags:  Capitals, Nicole Weissman  
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