Matt Hendricks Sends a Message

BOSTON - SEPTEMBER 29: Gregory Campbell #11 of the Boston Bruins and Matt Hendricks #26 of the Washington Capitals fight in the first period on September 29 2010 at the TD Garden in Boston Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Two days after signing a one-year deal with the Caps and one week after notching a hat trick in the team's pre-season opener, Matt Hendricks further endeared himself to Caps fans moments after tonight's opening face off. Here's CSN New England's Joe Haggerty's take on what went down at TD Garden:

The Gregory Campbell fight with former B's minor leaguer Matt Hendricks two seconds into the game is likely a carry-over from last night’s third period fireworks with Alexander Ovechkin in Washington DC. Campbell was cross-checked by AO, and he promptly threw Ovechkin into the boards before the Russian sniper came back with a hard slash at Campbell. Johnny Boychuk came to Campbell’s aid and both players were sent to the penalty box before it escalated. Clearly Washington looking to send a message that "you don’t go after our Ovie" and rightfully so.

Hendricks, who is by no means a lock to break camp with the Caps, said last week, "No matter what my role is in a game, no matter how much ice time I get, at the end of it I want to be able to say I changed the game. So sometimes it might be scoring a goal, but for the most part it's the way I play, with the grit and the energy that I bring for the club." Whether or not he changed tonight's game (a 4-1 Caps victory), one thing is for certain - Matt Hendricks is making one heck of an impression on his coaches, teammates and fans.

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