May 2, 2013
Capitals stay red hot, down Rangers in series opener
By KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) stops a scoring opportunity by Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin during Game 1 of the NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals in Washington, May 2, 2013. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Steve Oleksy will wear this scar as a badge of honour.

After the Washington Capitals pushed for a decisive 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers Thursday night before a raucous crowd at the Verizon Center, the fact a throng of media members were surrounding the locker of a minor-league journeyman was another not-so-subtle reminder that the Stanley Cup playoffs were on.

Oleksy is a 27-year-old rookie who previously gutted it out in the minors, crafting a resume that includes stops with the Port Huron Icehawks of the International Hockey League, the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League.

There’s no shame in working your way up the ranks.

In fact, the long road Oleksy has taken makes him appreciate the fact he’s playing in the NHL after years of riding the buses and wondering if he’ll ever get the opportunity.



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