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Andrew Ference on D&C: Alex Ovechkin ‘a superstar that’s willing to get his nose dirty’

04.13.12 at 10:37 am ET

Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning, following Thursday night’s 1-0 overtime victory over the Capitals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

“I was happy the way we came out at the start of the game,” Ference said. “The demeanor in the room was really good. The last few days of practices kind of led into that. ‘€¦ Overall it was a good first game. It was a lot better than last year’s first game.”

Alex Ovechkin was kept in check Thursday night, but Ference knows how explosive the Caps forward can be if left unchecked.

“With him, it’s always just about how dangerous he can be,” Ference said. “In a heartbeat he can lay you out with one of the harder hits in the league, or he can [beat] you for a pretty goal. He’s got a great shot. It’s not like he doesn’t have all the tools to be an extremely dangerous player. He just gets so much more attention from everybody’s best defensive forward, best D-man. Nobody really gives him an inch out there.”

Ovechkin took a huge hit from Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg but bounced right up after the collision.

“He’s not one to shy away from anything physical,” Ference said. “But a hit’s a hit. Those hard hits add up. But he’s not going to be one to shy away, that’s for sure. I think he enjoys playing real hockey. Having that physical side of the game is great. That’s what makes the sport really nice.

“Guys respect that. He’s a superstar that’s willing to get his nose dirty. And I think that’s why guys appreciate his game so much.”

Capitals goalie Braden Holtby shined in his playoff debut, making 29 saves before surrendering the game-winner to Chris Kelly in OT.

“He looked solid,” Ference said. “For a first playoff game, good for him.”

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