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Report: Brooks Laich to attend Los Angeles Kings camp on PTO

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USA TODAY Sports

Report: Brooks Laich to attend Los Angeles Kings camp on PTO

It looked as if Brooks Laich's career may be coming to an end last season. Stuck in the AHL, Laich expressed his desire to "pursue a Stanley Cup somewhere else." The Toronto Maple Leafs placed him on waivers allowing other teams to claim him, but there were no takers. Finally, his season came to an end in April after elbow surgery. He had played in just 27 AHL games and none in the NHL.

But now it looks as if Laich will be getting another shot to show he can still contribute at the NHL level.

Laich, 34, told Joshua Kloke of The Athletic in February that, "Physically and mentally, I feel as youthful and as energetic as any kid that walks in the door. I feel like I’m younger than the 20-year-old kids. I have passion for the game. You might call me crazy, but I still feel like my best days of hockey are ahead of me. ... I still feel I have many, many years left to play.”

What will certainly help Laich's chances of making a return to the NHL is the fact that he is no longer dealing with a massive contract. In 2011, Capitals general manager George McPhee signed Laich to a six-year, $27 million deal. That $4.5 million cap hit became a hindrance to the Caps leading to the team trading him in 2016. That cap hit was far too high for any team to seriously consider taking a player who had been relegated to the AHL all season last year.

Now Laich will be heading to the Kings camp on a PTO with no guarantees or contract in hand.

Traded to Washington in 2004, Laich spent 12 seasons with the Caps scoring 133 goals and 324 points. He was a solid contributor until a groin injury he suffered while playing overseas during the 2012-13 lockout derailed his career. Prior to that, Laich played in 73 or more games for seven straight seasons with a career-high of 59 points. Since then, he has only played in more than 73 games once and his high in points is 24.

Laich will reportedly have some competition in Los Angeles as the Kings will also over PTOs to Brandon Prust, Chris Lee and Andrei Loktionov.

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5 reasons the Caps beat the Ducks

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USA TODAY Sports

5 reasons the Caps beat the Ducks

This game was not going the Caps' way through two periods. Everything changed in the final frame, however, as the Capitals rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force overtime. Alex Ovechkin did the rest in a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

Here's how the Caps were able to rally for the win.

Braden Holtby  holding the goal line late in the second (about 4:10 left)

Washington trailed 2-0 in the second and the Ducks were looking for more late. A shot from Derek Grant on the left went wide and hit off the backboards right to Dennis Rasmussen who tried to stuff the puck on Holtby's right. Holtby dove to cover the goal line. Critically, his goal stick stuck out past the post and neither Rasmussen nor Logan Shaw could get the puck past the stick to get the puck to the front and stuff it in. Once the puck finally did squirt free into the crease, Hotlby gloved it. A 3-0 deficit may have been lights out for Washington.

RELATED: SEE TARIK'S 3 STARS OF THE GAME FOR CAPS-DUCKS

Nicklas Backstrom's early third period goal

Trying to overcome a two-goal deficit in one period is a daunting task. Every second that ticks by makes your comeback bid harder. The fact that Nicklas Backstrom was able to strike just over three minutes into the third period was absolutely critical. Backstrom was able to net a rebound off of an Alex Ovechkin shot just over three minutes into the third period. The Caps went from a two-goal deficit to trailing by one with 17 minutes remaining. Suddenly, that mountain they had to climb did not seem so high.

A lucky tip or a veteran call?

If you've been yelling for Evgeny Kuznetsov to shoot the puck more, you were probably pleased with his third period goal to tie the game at two. With Tom Wilson open on the backdoor, Kuznetsov chose to call his own number and fired a shot past Gibson. Or did he? Was Kuznetsov trying to pass that puck? Take a look at the replay.

Just at the last second, Andrew Cogliano hits either the puck or the stick of Kuznetsov. Whether he meant to pass and it was a lucky break or he was thinking shot the whole way, it worked out for the Caps.

WATCH: ALEX OVECHKIN'S OVERTIME WINNER OVER ANAHEIM

Braden Holtby's two early saves on Rickard Rakell in overtime

Rakell wanted the Ducks to win this game. Less than a minute into overtime, he had a lane to shoot on Holtby. Holtby made the initial save, but the rebound bounced to the faceoff circle. Both of the trailing players in red skated past. Holtby took a step forward to try to clear the puck from danger, but then saw Rakell had a step on him to collect his own rebound. He stopped, then kicked out the pad to make an incredible save to deny Rakell again about 10 feet out of the crease.

Alex Ovechkin's bullet

Sometimes when you play against a player like Ovechkin, there's nothing you can do. At the end of his shift, Ovechkin elected to carry the puck into the offensive zone rather than passing it off to change up. He was forced to the boards by Brandon Montour and decided just to tee-up the mini slap shot. When you're the greatest goal scorer of a generation, however, even a shot from the top of the faceoff circle near the boards is a dangerous shot. 

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Tarik's Three Stars: Alex Ovechkin completes Capitals OT comeback

Tarik's Three Stars: Alex Ovechkin completes Capitals OT comeback

For 40 minutes, Saturday’s showdown vs. the Ducks was The John Gibson Show.

But the Anaheim goaltender could only keep the surging Caps at bay for so long.

Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov rallied the home team in the third period, then Alex Ovechkin scored in overtime to lift Washington to a thrilling 3-2 victory.

The Caps have now won a season-high six in a row at home and three straight overall. Meanwhile, the Ducks’ last four losses have come after regulation.

Tarik’s three stars of the night:

1-Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

Ovechkin sealed the come-from-behind win by ripping a shot past Gibson 1:58 into the extra session. No. 8 also had the primary assist on Nicklas Backstrom’s game-tying goal in the third period. The goal was Ovechkin’s 23rd on the season (tied for first) and the 21st of his career in overtime, which is the highest total in NHL history.  

2-Evgeny Kuznetsov, Capitals

Kuznetsov scored Washington’s second goal...though it looked like he was actually trying to pass the puck. But thanks to a deflection off a Ducks' defender's stick, the puck changed directions and slipped past Gibson to knot the score, 2-2, at 7:27 of the third period. 

Kuzy now has five points in the last three games (1 goal, 4 assists).

3-Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals

For a long time this season, it looked like Backstrom may never score again. Now, he can’t stop scoring. His second goal in two games—and fourth in six contests—cut the Caps’ deficit to 2-1 four minutes before Kuznetsov’s strike. The scoring play began with a giveaway by Anaheim defenseman Josh Manson deep in Anaheim’s end.

Agree? Disagree? Tell us what you think in the comments.