The Washington Times - April 8, 2013, 09:50AM

Sami Salo has a hard slap shot. Joel Ward found that out Sunday night.

With 11:12 remaining in the Washington Capitals’ victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ward took a shot from the defenseman in his left leg. In obvious pain, Ward tried to block another shot before finally getting to the bench several seconds later.

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Ward did not return to the game but will accompany the team to Montreal.

“He’s OK, took a hard shot there,” coach Adam Oates said. “He was walking it off and we were OK.”

Earlier, Ward scored the game-winner, a powerful move down the left wing, beating Nate Thompson and deking to his forehand to snap one past Ben Bishop. But it was the blocked shot that fired up teammates.

“That’s the mentality we have in the room right now,” defenseman Steve Oleksy said. “It’s playoff hockey, playoff-type atmosphere. Those are the things you’ve got to do in order to win. Obviously his sacrifice for the team, not only was it a huge block but we fed off that, too, for the rest of the third period there.”

Center Nicklas Backstrom said “it’s great to see guys chip in for each other.” It’s a pattern that has been present during this 8-1-1 stretch.

“It happens. We sacrifice our body for the points,” captain Alex Ovechkin said. “Right now you can see everybody try to block the shots everybody try to play physical and you can see even [Mathieu Perreault] makes some big hits today. It’s good when you see that kind of guys play hard, you just want to be out there and do the same stuff.”