- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 19, 2004

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:

LEONSIS ON THE ALTERCATION — At the end of Wednesday’s interview with WTEM (AM-980) about the trade of Peter Bondra to Ottawa, Caps owner Ted Leonsis talked briefly about the Jan. 25 postgame incident in which he scuffled with fan Jason Hammer. Three days later, Leonsis was fined $100,000 and suspended for a week by the NHL.

“It was blown a bit out of proportion, but I’ve learned a lesson,” Leonsis said. “I mingle with the fans. I’ve made myself very accessible. The young man and I have become friends. He’s very passionate. His family is hanging out with us and we’ve moved on.”

CHARPY’S BACK — For the first time since Nov. 12, backup goalie Sebastien Charpentier was back in his usual place at the end of the Washington bench. Charpentier has an arthritic hip and when his medicine stopped helping in November, physical activity became painful. Arthroscopic surgery last month did the trick and the 26-year-old has returned to the active roster. Maxime Ouellet was sent back to Portland of the American Hockey League to play regularly in place of fellow rookie Rastislav Stana, who has been out with a bad shoulder.

FACING THE CHAMPS — Last night was the 24th anniversary of Washington’s first victory over a defending Stanley Cup champion. That 3-1 conquest of Montreal at Capital Centre ended an 0-28-1 drought for the Caps. Washington is now a more respectable 34-45-13-1 in the last 24 years against the champs, not counting a 5-16 record in playoff series against the New York Islanders in 1983 and 1984, Pittsburgh in 1992 and Detroit in 1998.

David Elfin

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