Latest from Capitals-Habs series

April, 26, 2010

MONTREAL -- Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau once again bristled at questions regarding the play of Norris Trophy candidate Mike Green, who has zero goals and two assists in five games.

"I really don't want to answer any Mike Green questions because I'm tired of it, because it's unwarranted," he said. "I said it [Sunday], I don't see anybody asking [about] Duncan Keith, who's minus-5 with no points, or Drew Doughty who's out and was minus-6 in the series and minus-2 in a critical game. Why are we focusing on Mike Green? He's not scoring, but he's playing well. He's playing 26 minutes a game and it's just unwarranted. But you guys want to keep talking about him, put him down and say he's the reason why the series is 3-2. It's not right."

Another player in the spotlight for his play is Alexander Semin, who has zero goals and one assist in the series. He was not on the ice for the morning skate, but is expected in the lineup Monday night.

Captain Alex Ovechkin said no one needs to treat Semin or Green any differently.

"No, I don't think we have to joke about it or talk about it a lot with those guys," Ovechkin said. "They're professionals and they have experience and know exactly what they have to do. We just try to help them, but the most important thing right now is it's not about personal results, it's about the team results. If we win the game, nobody is going to say this guy played bad and this guy played bad. If we lose the game, everybody played bad."

An update on the man who played dentist

One moment that defines playoff hockey happened in Game 5 in Washington, where Caps forward Eric Belanger collided with former teammate Marc-Andre Bergeron in the neutral zone and Bergeron's stick caught Belanger in the mouth.

Moments later, Belanger was seen on the bench holding up his finger while the trainer attended to him. He reached in and pulled out a tooth, one of seven he lost in the incident, and handed it to the trainer. He returned later in the game.

Belanger said Monday he knew right away he was in a mess.

"Yeah, because it happened to me before and the flashes I had after it happened was, 'Holy crap, I'm going to have to be in the dentist chair for a lot of hours because I went through the process before and it took me a year to fix everything.' But I knew the chances were there for me to be hit again. Just part of the game I guess," said Belanger, who was acquired by the Capitals at the trade deadline.

"It's not fun. You just want to get back out there and play," he added. "I was getting stitched up between the first and second and I could see the time running down and I just wanted to be out there and play. The doctors did a great jog of stitching me up and able to put me back on the ice."

After the game, Bergeron called to see if he was OK.

"He felt bad. It was just at the wrong place at the wrong time; it's no big deal," Belanger said.

The next day, he had more work done to ensure he could play Monday in Game 6.

"They just patched a couple of teeth [where] the nerves were damaged so I could get on the plane yesterday and feel comfortable, and when I get back, hopefully we can get some more work done in a couple of weeks, maybe some implants and whatever needs to be done."

As for eating, Belanger could eat normally. "Small pieces," he said.

If there was any consolation, three of the seven teeth that were lost were replacement teeth from an earlier incident.

Theodore recognized by team, NHL

Washington netminder Jose Theodore was named one of the three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which recognizes perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Theodore lost an infant son during the offseason, but returned to the Capitals and, at one point in the second half of the regular season, went 23 straight games without losing in regulation.

"I think it's fabulous. It's well-deserved and I don't think anyone should have to go through what he's had to deal with, not only this summer, but during the course of the year," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said Monday. "Dealing with the grief and coming out and going on a streak from January on, was basically undefeated, is a pretty remarkable thing. Not only that, he doesn't look like he's sullen or anything, keeping up the good show while he's around all the guys. I'm sure him and his wife still have difficult times dealing with it."

Theodore declined to talk to reporters Monday.

Scott Burnside

ESPN Senior Writer



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