A day to remember

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Before I forget the score, the Caps hammered a disinterested Senators squad 5-1. OK, on to the notes:

* Brett Leonhardt was the star of the show tonight, even if he only got to sit on the bench for half a period. “Stretch” is going to get a little more than just 15 minutes of fame.

“It is every dream come true,” Leonhardt said. “Growing up in Canada, it was always my dream to play in the NHL, but when you don’t get drafted when you’re 18 and you don’t get a look after college with free agency, you just figure you’re never going to play in the NHL. It was very just surreal; it was a blur.”

* Here’s a synopsis of Brett’s day:

— Showed up for work and Dave Prior told him Jose Theodore might be skipping out on practice early and asked him if he wanted to practice a little.

— Went to his cubicle to put Bruce Boudreau’s press conference on the team’s web site. While he was there GM George McPhee came by and tapped him on the shoulder.

“He tapped me on the shoulder,” Leonhardt said. “He said they were calling up a guy but he might not be here in time. He kind of scared me when he said, ‘Be ready.’ “

— He came to Verizon Center and did the Pre-Cap podcast with Mike Vogel

— He went to Noodles and Co. for dinner with Vogs and graphic designer Andy Mattice

— Then the 26-year-old website producer got to be an NHL player. Sitting in on pre-game video meetings, dressing in the room with the guys, going through warm-ups and having the best seat in the house for the first half of the first period.

When asked what the highlight of the day was, he said probably being in the locker room for Bruce Boudreau’s pre-game speech.

— He was back in the press box by the end of the second period, and he was back to work after the game. Stretch was back in the same dressing room he had been putting equipment on in a few hours ealier. He was back to being a website producer, running the video camera for player intereviews.

“It was almost a perfect storm,” McPhee said. “We didn’t find out until the end of practice that Theo couldn’t go, and our minor league goaltenders are on the road. They were as far away as they could be, so we scrambled to try and get someone here. Brett got to be on the big screen, he got his 15 minutes of fame and he’s a really a good kid so we’re happy for him.”

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