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Ovechkin Checks In On & Hugs Letang Before Capitals-Penguins Showdown

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin skated to center ice to check in on Kris Letang and offer his best wishes to the longtime Pittsburgh Penguins blueliner.

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WASHINGTON — The Thursday night showdown between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins was a rivalry-fueled matchup with some bad blood and a lot at stake. However, captain Alex Ovechkin put that aside to check in on Kris Letang.

Ovechkin skated over to center ice to check in on the Penguins blueliner and longtime rival, who has been fighting through adversity and personal tragedy over the last two months. The two spoke quickly and shared a hug before continuing their warmup routine.

It hasn't been an easy season for Letang, who suffered a stroke — the second of his life — back in December. The 34-year-old returned to game action but then left the team again after his father passed away. He has since returned and continues to play an integral role in the Penguins' lineup as a leader and key member of the team's veteran core.

Letang and Ovechkin have met over 50 times in their careers, including in three playoff series. And while there's a rivalry there, Ovechkin paid respect to No. 58 for all that he's been fighting through over this last stretch.

In 31 games this season, Letang has four goals and 16 assists for 20 points. Ovechkin has put up 32 goals and 22 assists for 54 points in 52 games so far. Washington defeated Pittsburgh 3-2 in the shootout.

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