2015 NHL Draft
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Features

Ovechkin arrival key to hockey growth in D.C. region

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- On a balmy Sunday afternoon in Reston, Va., a couple dozen young hockey players are trying to wait patiently for the ice resurfacing machine to complete its duty. They're fidgety, anxious to get out on the ice.

This region's sporting culture long has been dominated by the professional football team, but at the same time these kids were bumping into each other and swaying in anticipation, that football team was slogging to the end of another disappointing season on the other side of the District of Columbia and these young athletes (and their parents) don't seem the least bit concerned.

Youth hockey has exploded in the D.C. region. The level of participation has increased because of several factors. The biggest was the arrival in America's capitol city of a Russian dynamo on skates who has altered the Washington Capitals' position in the marketplace and helped the growth of the sport in ways few probably could have imagined.

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Blackhawks continue to dominate 2015 NHL All-Star Fan Vote presented by SiriusXM

More than 31 million total votes garnered to date; voting closes on Thursday, Jan. 1

Tuesday, 12.30.2014 / 2:00 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL.com

NEW YORK – The Chicago Blackhawks continue to close in on top vote-getter, Buffalo Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons (1,466,077), after six weeks of voting in the 2015 NHL All-Star Fan Vote presented by SiriusXM. Forwards Patrick Kane (1,075,304) and Jonathan Toews (1,061,691) as well as defenseman Duncan Keith (1,044,124) have all crossed the 1 million vote mark, narrowing Girgensons' overall lead as Chicago prepares to take part in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day, the last day of voting.

Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford (955,385) and defenseman Brent Seabrook (875,686) round out the top six vote-getters. Through six weeks of balloting, more than 31 million votes have been collected.

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Capitals' Orpik game-time decision for Winter Classic

Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik will be a game-time decision for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Thursday at Nationals Park.

Orpik left Washington's 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Monday with a right knee injury after a third-period collision with Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck. The 34-year-old had to be assisted to the locker room by defenseman John Carlson and forward Jason Chimera.

"I've hurt the knee before, so this one felt a little bit different," Orpik said. "A lot more painful than previous injuries, but the other injuries were a lot worse, so hopefully that's a good sign.

"It would be kind of disappointing to miss this one, but that's kind of up in the air right now."

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Beagle: Winter Classic excitement starting to set in

Jay Beagle - Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals forward Jay Beagle is about to play in his second Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Beagle suited up for the Capitals at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh in 2011, and he's expected to be in the lineup Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks at Nationals Park.

Beagle agreed to offer up his opinions in blog form leading up to the main event.

We had an optional practice today, which was good for us because it gave guys who needed a breather a chance to take one, and guys who wanted the opportunity to skate a chance to get on the ice for a loose practice.

Now that practice is over I am going to head out to lunch with my family. We've been on the road quite a bit of late so it'll be good to get some downtime with them. I've got my mom and dad in town as well as my mother-in-law. They're not here for long, so I have to make the most of it.

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Quote of the Day

I love you. I think we [climbed] as high as we possibly can.

— Sergei Fedorov to former Red Wings teammate Nicklas Lidstrom after each was voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2015 on Monday
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