The Washington Times - April 15, 2012, 06:52PM

Alexander Semin gets paid a pretty penny ($6.7 million this season) to snipe goals and be explosive on the offensive end. But his biggest impact in the Washington Capitals-Boston Bruins first-round series might’ve been a defensive sequence in overtime Saturday night.

He went to the ice to block a slap shot from Zdeno Chara.


“I think everybody was laughing,” teammate Alex Ovechkin said. “But again, it’s the playoffs, and everybody have to do whatever it takes to win the game.”

Semin isn’t known for blocking shots, at least by diving in front of pucks going 100 mph.

“Well, he’s playing playoff hockey right now, you know?” coach Dale Hunter said. “We’re desperate out there, and so are they, and you’ve got to block shots. He get a great block there, and especially with Chara; he shoots it pretty hard.”

Dennis Wideman joked last week that he would always get out of the way of Chara’s shot when they played together with Boston. But in this series, the Caps have taken pride in blocking, no matter who’s firing away.

Semin doing so didn’t just draw laughs.

“He got a few pats on the back last night after the game. But that’s what we need,” defenseman Mike Green said. “And then the guys on the bench see that, and Alex isn’t one to do that all the time, but when he shows that he can do that and he’s willing to do it, it brings us all up.”