- The Washington Times - Monday, February 16, 2009

SEEN AND HEARD AT BANKATLANTIC CENTER

SUNRISE, Fla. - One year and six days ago, former Washington Capitals forward Richard Zednik went through one of the scariest moments in NHL history. Zednik’s neck was cut by Florida Panthers teammate Olli Jokinen’s skate, and he was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery.

Undaunted by the life-threatening experience, Zednik is back with the Panthers this season, helping the hockey resurgence in South Florida. Going into Sunday, Zednik had 11 goals and 23 points in 44 games for the Panthers, who have not won a playoff series since making the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals but are in the thick of the postseason race in the Eastern Conference.

Zednik scored one of the goals of the season earlier this month when he leaped over a sliding defenseman - former Capitals defenseman Brendan Witt - before regaining control of the puck and netting the winner against the New York Islanders. He also potted both the tying and winning goals Tuesday on the one-year anniversary of the frightening accident in Buffalo.

“I just think he is very courageous,” said Caps coach Bruce Boudreau, who still hasn’t watched a replay of the accident. “Hockey players want to play, but it is courageous for him to go into the corners and do these things and not think about how close he came to something really bad happening. My hat is off to him.”

- Corey Masisak

ADD IT UP

While post-lockout rule changes have made points easier to come by, the Caps are on pace to break the franchise record for a season. That mark was set in 1985-86, when the Caps collected 107.

Year Pts afterTotal

57 games (pace) 1985-86 75 107

1999-00 68 102

2008-09 77 111

THREE STARS

Alex Ovechkin

No. 8’s back on a 60-goal pace after another third-period takeover

Jose Theodore

Gets the nod as a hat tip to the PK unit, which went 8-for-9

Nicklas Backstrom

That was the equivalent of a 60-yard bomb on the winner

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