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Capitals Insider: January 9, 2011 - January 15, 2011

Capitals recall Andrew Gordon

The Capitals recalled Andrew Gordon from the American Hockey League's Hershey Bears on Saturday and the right wing will be available to play against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday. Gordon has recorded a goal and an assist in eight games for Washington this season to go with 36 points, including...

By Katie Carrera  | January 15, 2011; 9:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Andrew Gordon  
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Bruce Boudreau: Caps 'just as desperate' as Ottawa

On Dec. 19, the Capitals traveled to Ottawa in dire need of a victory. Washington snapped its eight-game losing streak at Scotiabank Place that night with a 3-2 win over the Senators that relieved some of the pressure on the club. Sunday afternoon the struggling Senators will visit Verizon Center...

By Katie Carrera  | January 15, 2011; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  Ottawa Senators  
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Eric Fehr out 3-4 weeks with shoulder injury

Eric Fehr suffered a right shoulder injury when he collided with David Steckel in the neutral zone during Washington's 4-2 loss to Vancouver Friday night and Coach Bruce Boudreau said that the right wing will be out 3-4 weeks. Fehr had his right arm in a sling on Saturday at...

By Katie Carrera  | January 15, 2011; 12:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Eric Fehr, Injuries  
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Marcus Johansson's steady improvement and Capitals' latest practice lines

Friday night in the Capitals' 4-2 loss to Vancouver, rookie center Marcus Johansson recorded his fifth point in six games while playing a season high 17 minutes and 30 seconds against team atop the NHL standings. Johansson played more than six minutes in the third period and was out as...

By Katie Carrera  | January 15, 2011; 11:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Marcus Johansson  
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Capitals can't rally, fall 4-2 to Vancouver

Playing a complete 60 minutes has been a sticking point for the Washington Capitals often this season. The latest example came Friday night in a 4-2 loss to the NHL-leading Vancouver Canucks at Verizon Center. Washington was outplayed for 40 minutes before turning on the energy and threatening to rally...

By Katie Carrera  | January 14, 2011; 11:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
Categories:  Eric Fehr, Vancouver Canucks  
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Open thread: Capitals vs. Canucks

The Washington Capitals are back at Verizon Center and host the league-best Vancouver Canucks tonight. Faceoff: 7 p.m.; TV: CSN, NHLN; Radio: 1500 AM.shsMiniCopyright {display: none; } .shsMiniCopyrightText { display: none;} var now = new Date(); var nowSecs = now.getTime(); document.write( ' ' ); Update: 6:36 p.m. Based on warm...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | January 14, 2011; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (271)
Categories:  Lineups, Vancouver Canucks  
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Capitals looking forward to challenge of facing Canucks, Sedin twins

Thursday night, the New York Rangers did something that no other team had managed to do since Dec. 5 by defeating the Vancouver Canucks 1-0 in regulation. It ended the Canucks' 17-game streak of claiming at least a point, and Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau said that game might have offered...

By Katie Carrera  | January 14, 2011; 1:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  Vancouver Canucks  
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Bruce Boudreau says Matt Bradley likely 10-14 days away from return

All of the Capitals, except for injured Alexander Semin and Tom Poti, skated this morning at KCI, where Semyon Varlamov was the first goaltender off the ice and appears set to start tonight opposite the Vancouver Canucks' Roberto Luongo. Once the main group wrapped up its session, Matt Bradley worked...

By Katie Carrera  | January 14, 2011; 12:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  Eric Fehr, Jay Beagle, Matt Bradley, Semyon Varlamov  
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Statistical analysis: How to fix the Caps' power play in two easy steps

Remember when the Capitals' power play used to strike fear into the hearts of opposing teams? Yeah, that was awesome. Coach Bruce Boudreau is frustrated too, seeing his team score only four goals on 45 scoring chances during their last 43 power-play opportunities. One definition of insanity is doing the...

By Neil Greenberg  | January 14, 2011; 10:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  Statistical analysis  
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Tyler Sloan assigned to Hershey for conditioning stint

The Capitals announced that they've assigned defenseman Tyler Sloan to Hershey for a conditioning stint. Sloan has appeared in 19 games this season, the most recent on Dec. 26 against Carolina, and has been on and off the injured reserve list throughout the first half of the year while suffering...

By Katie Carrera  | January 14, 2011; 9:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Tyler Sloan  
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Acting fast a must for Capitals

Known last season for scoring early and then frequently piling on thereafter, the Washington Capitals have been struggling to regain that winning formula over their past three games, when each time the opponent has taken the lead in the first period. Washington is 1-1-1 over that stretch, with the losses...

By Gene Wang  | January 14, 2011; 7:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  Brooks Laich, Jay Beagle, Matt Hendricks, Mike Green, Vancouver Canucks  
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Bruce Boudreau: Canucks a 'mirror image' of last season's Capitals

This time last season, the Caps were thriving in Coach Bruce Boudreau's offensive system, often racking up five or more goals a game and collecting points at a pace well ahead of the rest of the Southeast Division. That team this year is the Vancouver Canucks, who visit Verizon Center...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | January 13, 2011; 5:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (71)
Categories:  Vancouver Canucks  
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Brooks Laich: Capitals' luck 'is just terrible'

Caps forward Brooks Laich hopped on 106.7 The Fan to chat with the Junkies this morning, and topics ranged from being unlucky to his philosophy on optional practices to Alex Ovechkin's fitness. Here are some excerpts (thanks to Steinz for some help transcribing): On losing: It sucks not being first....

By Lindsay Applebaum  | January 13, 2011; 3:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
Categories:  Brooks Laich  
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Alexander Semin, Tom Poti remain on shelf

Injured players Alexander Semin and Tom Poti missed today's optional practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, and Coach Bruce Boudreau said he did not expect either to be in the lineup anytime soon. Semin did not accompany the team on its recent road trip after taking a hit to his thigh...

By Gene Wang  | January 13, 2011; 2:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  Alexander Semin, Tom Poti  
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Caps wrap up optional practice

The Capitals had an optional practice this afternoon, and among those not here at Kettler Capitals Iceplex included Alex Ovechkin -- as is customary for him on days with optional practices -- Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and Tom Poti. Semin has been nursing a lower-body injury that kept him out...

By Gene Wang  | January 13, 2011; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (111)
 
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Semyon Varlamov settles down against Lightning

For the second straight game, one of the biggest positives for the Capitals was the play of their young goaltender. On Wednesday night, it was Semyon Varlamov's turn to impress and keep the possibility of a Washington comeback within reach by preventing the Lightning from taking a substantial early lead....

By Katie Carrera  | January 13, 2011; 10:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov  
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Boudreau says 'a lot of things not going right' for Capitals' slumping stars

Against Tampa Bay on Wednesday night, Alex Ovechkin had more attempted shots blocked (5) than reach the net (2) but he also broke at least three sticks, maybe more, when taking aim for others. There's no question that Ovechkin, and several other players who were among the Capitals' top scorers...

By Katie Carrera  | January 13, 2011; 8:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Bruce Boudreau, Nicklas Backstrom  
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Capitals lose 3-0 to Lightning, miss out on chance to move up in Southeast

For the second straight game the Capitals spotted their opponent a two-goal lead in the first period, but Wednesday night at the St. Pete Times Forum there would be no comeback like there was Tuesday against the Panthers. And this time it would cost Washington more than two points: Tampa...

By Katie Carrera  | January 12, 2011; 11:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Tampa Bay Lightning  
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Open thread: Capitals at Lightning

Fresh off an overtime loss to the Panthers, the Washington Capitals finish up their two-game Florida road trip tonight at St. Pete Times Forum against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Washington and Tampa Bay have 55 points apiece, so tonight's winner takes sole possession of the top spot in the Southeast...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | January 12, 2011; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (305)
Categories:  Lineups, Tampa Bay Lightning  
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Capitals look to get moving on power play

Coach Bruce Boudreau let his frustration with the Capitals' inability to create much of anything on the power play lately known after Washington's 4-3 overtime loss to Florida last night. This morning at St. Pete Times Forum, players said they took a long look at the unit's recent work and...

By Katie Carrera  | January 12, 2011; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
Categories:  Power play, Tampa Bay Lightning  
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Martin St. Louis: Lightning's matchup against Capitals 'like a playoff game'

While the outcome of tonight's contest between the Capitals and Lightning might not give either an edge in the Southeast Division for long, no one needed to remind members of either team this morning that matchups between the two will weigh heavy on where they both finish the regular season....

By Katie Carrera  | January 12, 2011; 1:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Tampa Bay Lightning  
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Semyon Varlamov first goaltender off the ice in Tampa

The Capitals had an optional morning skate at St. Pete Times Forum -- Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green and Mike Knuble were among those who did not take part -- but both goaltenders did hit the ice. Semyon Varlamov was the first netminder off the ice and considering that...

By Katie Carrera  | January 12, 2011; 12:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Tampa Bay Lightning  
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Statistical analysis: What are the Caps' best line combos?

We have all made the argument at one point or another along the lines of "Yeah, but he plays with better/worse linemates than [insert player here]." One of the benefits of logging the scoring chances every game is that you get to see just how true this is. So when...

By Neil Greenberg  | January 12, 2011; 10:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Statistical analysis  
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Bruce Boudreau says Caps are losing games on the power play

Over the last month and a half, the Capitals have struggled on the power play -- that much is hardly new. But now that Washington has started to play better and is beginning to find that elusive balance between offense and defense that's so often been talked about recently, the...

By Katie Carrera  | January 12, 2011; 8:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Power play  
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Capitals fall to Panthers 4-3 in overtime

Washington has earned points in each of the past nine games, but after allowing three power play goals to a Florida Panthers team with aleague-worst success rate with a man-advantage and squandering an opportunity to perhaps leave Sunrise with two points, the Capitals weren't in the mood to look on...

By Katie Carrera  | January 11, 2011; 11:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Florida Panthers, Marcus Johansson, Michal Neuvirth  
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Open thread: Capitals at Panthers

The Washington Capitals face the Panthers tonight at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., for the first of back-to-back road games against fellow Southeast Division teams. They play the Lightning tomorrow night in Tampa Bay. Michal Neuvirth is set to start in goal against the Panthers after backing up Semyon Varlamov...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | January 11, 2011; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (173)
Categories:  Florida Panthers, Lineups  
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Capitals owner Ted Leonsis on Jaromir Jagr

The Post hosted a summit of D.C. sports owners on Tuesday morning, featuring Ted Leonsis, Dan Snyder, Robert Tanenbaum, Marla Lerner Tanenbaum and Will Chang. At one point, the discussion turned to the X-factors in sports, and the Capitals owner used a player D.C. fans love to hate as an...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | January 11, 2011; 4:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Ted Leonsis  
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Got questions for Caps players? Ask them here

Now's your chance to go straight to the source. Every week, we'll ask different Capitals players questions from fans and deliver the answers on video. To start off, let us know your questions for forwards Matt Hendricks and Jason Chimera and defenseman Karl Alzner. To ask a question, fill out...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | January 11, 2011; 2:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Jason Chimera, Karl Alzner, Matt Hendricks  
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Versatile forward Brian Willsie looking forward to playing with Caps

Brian Willsie hasn't played a game in a Capitals uniform since the 2005-06 season, back when he was Alex Ovechkin's first roommate in the NHL, but the veteran forward is ready to step in against the Panthers tonight. With Alexander Semin not on the trip and Boyd Gordon not quite...

By Katie Carrera  | January 11, 2011; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Brian Willsie  
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Capitals' Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green talk about the All-Star game

Can Alex Ovechkin top this look from the 2009 All-Star game skills competition in Montreal? (Dave Sandford/Getty Images) This year's All-Star game will feature a format unlike anything the NHL has ever done before. The 42 players named to the All-Star roster will select six players to serve as...

By Katie Carrera  | January 11, 2011; 1:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, All-Star Game, Mike Green  
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Bruce Boudreau on starting Michal Neuvirth, managing goaltenders' workloads

Michal Neuvirth will get the start tonight at 7:30 p.m. against the Florida Panthers in what may be a more important game for the Capitals than simply meets the eye. With Tampa Bay inactive tonight and waiting for Washington arrive on Wednesday, the Capitals could take a one-point edge on...

By Katie Carrera  | January 11, 2011; 12:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov  
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Michal Neuvirth expected to start for Capitals tonight vs. Panthers

Quick update from Katie, who's running to talk to Alex Ovechkin about being named to the NHL All-Star roster: Michal Neuvirth is expected to get the start in goal for Washington tonight against the Panthers. Defenseman Tom Poti and center Boyd Gordon will be out tonight. Meantime, Brian Willsie, recalled...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | January 11, 2011; 11:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Brian Willsie, Michal Neuvirth  
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Capitals' Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green named to NHL All-Star Game roster

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and defenseman Mike Green have been named to the NHL's All-Star Game roster, which was just released by the league. It will be Ovechkin's fourth All-Star Game appearance and Green's first. Here's the complete roster for the game, to be played Jan. 30 in Raleigh....

By Lindsay Applebaum  | January 11, 2011; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green  
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Capitals owner Ted Leonsis on the decisions to do HBO's '24/7'

We'll have much more later today on the live sports event featuring Washington's pro sports owners, but for now, here's Ted Leonsis talking about the exposure his Capitals got from being on HBO's "24/7" documentary series (courtesy of the neighboring Bog): "We're in a league," he said. "And the thing...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | January 11, 2011; 10:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Ted Leonsis  
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Capitals' goalies 'learning how to respond' during first full NHL seasons

Almost a month ago to the day, Semyon Varlamov stood in net as the Capitals lost, 7-0, to the New York Rangers in what would be the lowest point of their eight-game skid in December. The goals weren't all his fault -- some the result of redirections and screens --...

By Katie Carrera  | January 11, 2011; 8:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov  
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Capitals recall winger Brian Willsie

The Capitals have recalled veteran winger Brian Willsie from the AHL's Hershey Bears, the team announced today. Willsie, 32, signed on for his second stint with Washington over the summer; he had 19 goals and 22 assists in 82 games with the Caps in 2005-06 before splitting the last four...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | January 10, 2011; 4:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
Categories:  Brian Willsie  
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Capitals look to move up in the East with upcoming busy schedule

The Capitals got a bit of a reprieve from the NHL's schedule makers last week after the Winter Classic, but beginning Tuesday in Florida, they must pick up the pace again with a hectic slate that is made up predominantly of road contests. Washington will play three games in the...

By Katie Carrera  | January 10, 2011; 2:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Florida Panthers, Karl Alzner  
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Alexander Semin won't travel to Florida, Boyd Gordon will

Coach Bruce Boudreau said Alexander Semin won't make the trip to Florida for back-to-back games against the Panthers and Lightning this week after absorbing a hip-to-thigh hit from Steve Bernier in the second period of Saturday's contest. Conversely, Boyd Gordon will travel with the team and Boudreau said it's possible...

By Katie Carrera  | January 10, 2011; 1:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Alexander Semin, Boyd Gordon, Injuries  
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Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau: Southeast is 'the toughest division in the East right now'

It was only a matter of time before the Capitals would no longer be able to take their division for granted. "Those easy games are not there anymore," Coach Bruce Boudreau said this morning during his regular appearance on 105.9 The Edge. "When the [other] Southeast Division teams lose the...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | January 10, 2011; 12:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Atlanta Thrashers, Bruce Boudreau, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Winter Classic  
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Alexander Semin not on the ice for Capitals' practice

Practice just got underway at KCI and Alexander Semin, who absorbed a hip-to-thigh hit by Florida's Steve Bernier in the second period Saturday night, is not on the ice this morning. I'll have an update on his status for the upcoming set of back-to-back games after practice concludes. A few...

By Katie Carrera  | January 10, 2011; 11:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Alexander Semin, Injuries  
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Bruce Boudreau on the Capitals' line combinations

For the start of Saturday's game against Florida, Coach Bruce Boudreau instituted some new line combinations among the forwards. Included among the new alignments was placing Alex Ovechkin on the right side and Alexander Semin on the left, the reverse of their usual spot in the lineup. But by the...

By Katie Carrera  | January 10, 2011; 7:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau  
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Capitals' penalty kill continues on a roll

To understand how dependable the Capitals' penalty kill has been, consider that it has allowed more than one power-play goal against in a single game only twice in the first 42 games of the season. Following Saturday's matchup against the Florida Panthers, Washington has thwarted 27 consecutive opposing power plays...

By Katie Carrera  | January 9, 2011; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Penalty kill  
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Eric Fehr takes another step toward consistency with goal against Panthers

As the second period against the Florida Panthers began Saturday night, it seemed as though the Capitals might never get back on the scoreboard. But by following the simplest of goal-scoring instructions in going to the net, Eric Fehr again helped Washington break through. Fehr's goal at the 5:32 mark...

By Katie Carrera  | January 9, 2011; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Eric Fehr  
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Caps get the goals they need, beat Panthers 3-2

Washington earned a much-needed win over a Southeast Division foe Saturday night at Verizon Center, defeating the Panthers, 3-2, with clutch third-period goals after weeks of struggling to score at critical junctures of games or with much regularly at all. In describing his game-winning tally after the contest, Alex Ovechkin...

By Katie Carrera  | January 9, 2011; 12:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Florida Panthers, Injuries  
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