Battered Bradley is inspiration for Caps

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This contest did not begin the way the Caps were hoping for. Gaborik punched home the rebound of a Dan Girardi shot 86 seconds in - the Rangers led 1-0 before the puck ever crossed their own blue line.

Ovechkin, who missed six games with an upper-body strain, needed a little more than 15 minutes to punctuate his return. He was up front on the team’s first power play of the game but moved back to the point for the second and blasted a shot from the top of the circles past Lundqvist.

While Ovechkin returned to the lineup, countryman Alexander Semin had to be removed from it. Semin practiced Monday but was unable to participate in the morning skate or play. He took an awkward hit from Florida’s Keith Ballard while trying to shoot 11 days ago and has been wearing extra protection on his wrist since.

The Caps lost another player during this contest. Laing slid along the ice to block a shot, but the puck hit him in the jaw. Boudreau said he will stay here overnight for observation, and a team official confirmed Laing has a broken jaw and would be out for “weeks.”

“I haven’t seen stuff like that in a long time,” Laich said. “Quintin Laing blocks one with his face - it is humbling. Guys are blown away in the locker room - just a tremendous amount of respect for that guy.

“The Ovechkins, the Backstroms and the Greens are the backbone of this team, but the Bradleys and the Laings - those guys are the guts, and that’s why we win.”

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