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Orpik provides update on surgically repaired wrist


Orpik provides update on surgically repaired wrist

It was sometime in mid-July when Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik grabbed a pitcher of water out of the fridge that he knew something was seriously wrong with his left wrist.

“It was a little worse that I thought it was,” Orpik said Monday after pushing himself through a conditioning skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “I tried to lie to myself, but it got to the point where I couldn’t pour a glass of water.

“I knew that if I can’t pour a glass of water I definitely can’t play hockey. I saw the doctor and he said, ‘If you don’t get this done you’ll get to the middle of the season and miss two-and-a-half months,’ and I definitely didn’t want to do that. I knew I was going to have to take care of it eventually.”

So, on July 28, Orpik underwent what the team called a “successful” surgery on his left wrist, one which came with a recovery period of 8-12 weeks. Tuesday marks seven weeks from his surgery and although he is not participating in scrimmages, Orpik said he’s ahead of schedule.

“I saw the doctor about 10 days ago and he said, ‘I don’t want you to go crazy here, but you’re definitely ahead of schedule in terms of how it looks and range of motion,’ ” Orpik said.

With fitness testing scheduled for Thursday and the start of training camp on Friday, Orpik, 34, said he hopes to shed his protective brace next week and play in at least one of the Caps’ seven exhibition game before the regular season opener on Oct. 10.

Orpik was a rock solid addition to the Caps’ top defense pairing last season, playing in 78 games alongside John Carlson while leading the team in hits (306) and finishing second behind Carlson in blocked shots (192). He recorded 19 assists but had no goals on 66 shots.

Orpik said he does not remember how he injured his wrist, which as a left-handed shot is the bottom hand on his stick, but said it affected his ability to shoot and required a cortisone injection during the playoffs.

It was after the cortisone wore off that Orpik realized he might need surgery.

“It’s frustrating because you get people asking why I waited until the end of July,” Orpik said. “People think we’re just kind of robots and if something doesn’t work you fix it. Surgery is always your last option, your last resort, and you try to avoid it all costs.”

RELATED: Capitals invite veteran center to attend camp

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

The Washington Capitals had not beaten the Dallas Stars at home since 2006, Alex Ovechkin's second season in the NHL. That streak ended on Tuesday in a 4-3 Caps win.

Here's how the Caps were finally able to down Dallas in Washington.

Oshie still hot

After going 19 straight games without a goal, T.J. Oshie has been red-hot of late with four goals in his last four games. He scored Washington’s first goal in what would become a three-goal period for the Caps as they battled back from a 1-0 deficit into a 3-3 tie through 40 minutes. Oshie also added an assist as he won a power play faceoff that John Carlson fed to Alex Ovechkin for the goal.


Ovechkin victimizing his favorite target

You knew Ovechkin would score given he was playing against one of his favorite targets. With his second period goal, Ovechkin now has 22 goals against Kari Lehtonen in his career, tied with Henrik Lundqvist for the most goals he has scored on any netminder. Lehtonen has not been in the Eastern Conference since the 2008-09 season. When he goes to sleep at night, Ovechkin is who he sees in his nightmares.

The Carlson-Klingberg duel

Carlson and John Klingberg entered Tuesday’s game each with 59 points, tied for the league lead in points among defensemen. Carlson downplayed the matchup both before and after the game, but it was clear that both players were playing at another level all game long. While both players tallied two points on the night, you have to give the win to Carlson as he had the most significant point, a game-winning goal in the third period.


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Tarik's 3 Stars: Ovechkin further cements his place in history

Tarik's 3 Stars: Ovechkin further cements his place in history

Alex Ovechkin further cemented his place in NHL history, John Carlson stayed hot and Braden Holtby was good when called upon as the Caps downed the Stars, 4-3, at Capital One Arena on Tuesday night.

The victory was Washington’s fifth in the past six games. It also marked the Caps’ first win over Dallas in D.C. since 2006.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

Ovechkin scored his 44th goal of the season and the 602nd of his career in the second period to give the Caps a short-lived 3-2 edge in the second period.

The goal put Ovi back atop the league as he seeks a seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. It also pushed him past Jari Karri and into sole possession of 19th place on the NHL’s all-time list. Ovechkin has now victimized Kari Lehtonen 22 times, which is tied for the most goals he’s scored against a single netminder. (Henrik Lundqvist has also given up 22 goals to No. 8). Ovi also had a couple of secondary helpers.

2-John Carlson, Capitals

Carlson scored the game-winner 4:59 with left to play, blasting a one-timer past Lehtonen to put the Caps ahead 4-3.

Carlson also notched an assist, which allowed him to stay even with Dallas’ John Klingberg. Klingberg had two assists. Both players ended the game with 61 points—tied for the most among all NHL defensemen.    

3-Alexander Radulov, Stars

From his first shift, it was apparent that Radulov was determined to leave his mark on the game. And he did just that, recording a goal, an assist and boarding minor that bloodied Caps defenseman Michal Kempny. Radulov’s goal—a redirection of a John Klingberg shot—was his 26th and it evened the score, 2-2, in the second period.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.