During the Capitals’ 1-0 shootout win over the Islanders Thursday, Alex Ovechkin did not take a shift late in the third period or in overtime. Considering it was one of the biggest games of the season and Ovechkin has so many goals in overtime that Capitals fans have nicknamed the extra frame Ovitime, that was kinda strange.
So after the game, the media asked Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette what happened and if Ovi was injured.
“I don’t even know what’s wrong,” a cagey Laviolette said postgame. “I know he wasn’t available during that time.”
The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir described the coach’s response as him being “tightlipped” about injuries.
Laviolette is typically tightlipped about injuries, and he was again with Ovechkin, who appeared to pull up late in regulation. He did not take a shift in OT. "I don't even know what's wrong," Laviolette said right after the game. "I know that he wasn't available." #Caps
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) April 23, 2021
While it’s unclear if Ovechkin is hurt or not, we do know that his last shift of the game was came with 3:11 left in the third period. It lasted 23 seconds. Ovechkin did not play in overtime where he’s scored the most goals in NHL history (24).
Before the shootout, NBC Sports Washington cameras trained in on Ovechkin sitting at the bench chatting with Anthony Mantha.
Ovechkin has fought through several undisclosed injuries this season and even missed a few practices.
“I think he’s worked through some things physically, not quite injuries… he got through the COVID, got through some minor stuff physically,” Brian MacLellan said in March. “I think he’ll have a really good second half here. We’re getting through not practicing, not being totally there after the COVID. Some injuries. I think he’ll have a good second half.”
Ovechkin leads the Capitals with 24 goals in 43 games. He’s gone scoreless in his last two games.
The Capitals have an optional skate on Friday before taking on the Islanders again at Nassau Coliseum Saturday night.
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