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Original Issue

Pierre McGuire's In the Crease

When Capitals coach Glen Hanlon briefly benched star Alexander Ovechkin (right) during a March 20 loss to Montreal for staying out too long on a power play, he sent a message to his players: Follow the rules or else. Credit Ovechkin, who scored later in the game, for not sulking.... Senators rookie defenseman Andrej Meszaros has been invaluable to the top team in the East. At week's end, he led the NHL in plus-minus (+39) and is averaging 16:53 a game because of injuries to Zdeno Chara and Anton Volchenkov.... Anaheim center Andy McDonald is a perfect example of what's right about the new NHL. Undersized (5'10", 186 pounds) but with great speed, he had 68 points through Sunday, proof that referees are calling hooking and holding, which once impeded his type of player.