Alex Ovechkin checks in with Kris Letang
(Photo Credit: NBCS Washington)

These are the moments we love to see.

The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins renewed their intense rivalry on Thursday night with a matchup at Capital One Arena. Prior to the game, Washington captain Alex Ovechkin checked in on Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang.

Letang suffered a second stroke this season and recently missed time due to the passing of his father. Letang has been through a ton this season, and Ovechkin wanted to make sure he was doing okay.

Ovechkin sought out Letang in warmups prior to Thursday’s game, and the two had a brief conversation. Ovi clearly knows how tough it must be to go through a stroke and then lose your father.

Check out this nice moment below:

Letang returned to the Penguins lineup on Tuesday after missing 11 games due to an injury, plus his father’s passing. The Pittsburgh blueliner had two goals and two assists in his return, including the game-winner with 54 seconds remaining in overtime.

The Penguins team recently went out of their way to attend the funeral of Letang’s father in Montreal. That action meant a lot to Letang, and you can expect Ovi’s gesture will have a similar-type effect.

Letang spoke about making his return. “It’s kind of surreal. I didn’t know what to think or how it was going to go”

Ovi has a habit of making players feel welcome in their returns to the NHL. Just last season, Ovechkin gave a fist bump to Montreal goalie Carey Price after the netminder returned from the NHL’s player assistance program.

Hockey needs more of this gamesmanship. The Penguins and Capitals hate each other, but some things are bigger than hockey.