The Washington Times - February 3, 2012, 06:02PM

It has been exactly a month since Rene Bourque’s cheap shot elbow to Nicklas Backstrom’s jaw knocked the Washington Capitals’ leading scorer out that night and kept him out ever since. The Caps saw Bourque Jan. 18 in Montreal and Matt Hendricks wasted little time to challenge him.

Bourque probably earned a win in that fight, but everyone commended Hendricks for standing up and calling him out on the ice.

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But it might not be over.

“I don’t know. Our guy’s still out. I don’t think our guys are ever going to forget what happened,” Caps forward Brooks Laich said Friday in advance of Saturday’s rematch. “I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s over or not. We’re going to win a hockey game. That’s the main focus. If anything else happens, it happens.”

Laich is smart enough not to talk about the Caps inflicting violence on Bourque in any kind of pre-meditated way. Recently recalled enforcer Joel Rechlicz said Thursday that he knew of the situation and that “Hopefully I’ll be in the lineup for that game.” He was put on waivers Friday.

Before the Caps’ first game at the Canadiens last month, players and coach Dale Hunter were steadfast that picking up points was more important than retribution. Hendricks fought Bourque nine seconds into his first shift of the game.

Predictably, Hunter continued that line of conversation Friday.

“You seen it through the whole league when the same thing happens where it’s just that the two points are most important to us and to them,” he said.

No one would argue that the two points are important to the Caps, but payback might not be far behind.