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“[Laich] was doing anything to stop the puck or stop the guy,” Chimera said. “He was grabbing people, grabbing sticks.”

Laich went to the box for roughing while coming to the defense of teammates in a post-whistle scrum, but the penalty kill continued — with even Perreault making a cameo busting out of the box.

The diminutive forward who saw a total of 18 seconds of short-handed time all last season was out of place at first. But he made it all worthwhile on this 35-second shift by making the smart play and taking a big hit from 6-foot-5, 265-pound Byfuglien. Perreault is generously listed at 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, but him accepting that hit was what this kill was all about.

When the Caps were back to even strength, fans gave them a standing ovation. Laich was glad the crowd appreciated the hard work.

“It got the crowd really engaged in the game,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. It got our bench really up.”

And while it didn’t directly lead to the victory, it was a moment in time that won’t be forgotten if the Caps find a way to do something special this spring.