The Washington Times - April 13, 2012, 12:35AM

BOSTON | It was billed as Alex Ovechkin vs. Zdeno Chara, and that matchup will be a focal point of the Washington Capitals-Boston Bruins series just about every game. But on Thursday night, the biggest impact was Ovechkin vs. Dennis Seidenberg.

The other half of the Bruins’ shutdown pair made his presence felt particularly with one collision 5:36 into the second period. Seidenberg had Ovechkin lined up in the neutral zone and lowered his shoulder into the Caps left wing. But Ovechkin saw it and gave something right back to the Bruins defenseman, creating the hit of the night.

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He saw me at the last second and he’s very solid and I just tried to hit him,” Seidenberg said. “It doesn’t matter who falls at the end; I’ve just got to be in his way so he can’t do anything.”

Neither player appeared any worse for the wear. Ovechkin went into the boards and Seidenberg to the ice. But Washington’s captain came up smiling, too. He loved the physical game Thursday, especially against Seidenberg.

Yeah, I think it was a great battle,” Ovechkin said. “He made some big hits. Some big hits. So I’m going to enjoy it, actually.”

Ovechkin managed to get just one shot on net, but he had a game-high seven hits.

“They were playing tight on him. They got the [Patrice] Bergeron line against him and their D against him,” coach Dale Hunter said. “He’s battling. That’s all you want from your players is to battle, and tonight we battled hard.”

Here’s video of the hit: