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Capitals Fire Coach Boudreau, Hire Hunter as Ovechkin Struggles

The Washington Capitals fired coach Bruce Boudreau after a 5-9-1 slide and decreased production from All-Star forward Alex Ovechkin.

Dale Hunter, who played for the National Hockey League team from 1987 to 1999, will replace Boudreau, General Manager George McPhee said today on the team’s website. Ovechkin, the league’s most valuable player in 2008 and 2009, had a career-low 17 points through his first 22 games this season, Boudreau’s fifth with the team.

Hunter, 51, has coached the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League since 2001, where he worked with current Capitals defensemen John Carlson and Dennis Wideman. He is the only player in NHL history to record more than 1,000 points and 3,000 penalty minutes, according to the website. He was also given a 21-game ban in 1993 for a late hit on New York Islanders forward Pierre Turgeon.

Boudreau was 329-201-88 in Washington, making the Stanley Cup playoffs four times. The team won the Eastern Conference the past two seasons, receiving the top spot in the playoffs, and never advanced past the second round of postseason.

The Capitals opened the year 7-0-0 and have gone 5-9-1 since. The team has 25 points, in second place in the Eastern Conference Southeast division behind the Florida Panthers.

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