Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette revealed that Alex Ovechkin is “unlikely” to play in the team’s rematch with the New York Rangers on Wednesday.
Ovechkin played in only one shift during the Capitals’ 6-3 victory on Monday before leaving the game due to a lower-body injury.
Ovechkin did not participate in the Capitals’ optional skate on Wednesday. While Laviolette was unsure how long the team’s captain would stay off the ice before practicing again, but he was dubious that it’d be more than a day or two.
“Where it goes through the end of the year, the most important thing is the playoffs,” Laviolette said. “We’re a ways away. We’ll be in good shape for that but our level of concern is high for him to be healthy.”
As for the decision to let Ovi play in Monday’s game, Laviolette said the team’s caution level “was high. It remains high.”
Laviolette added that Ovechkin “went through the morning skate and felt great. He went through a practice the day before and felt great. No restrictions. No colored jerseys. No being held back. For whatever reason, during warmup, he felt a little bit different. We didn’t need to make a decision on it at that point because we weren’t scratching a player to put him in the lineup. When he went out in the first shift, he said it was just not right. We called it off.”
If Ovechkin ends up scratched Wednesday, it’ll be the ninth game he’s missed this season. It’s the most games he’s missed since the 2009-10 season. That year, Ovi missed six games due to a shoulder injury and four games due to suspension. Despite all the missed time this year, Ovechkin still ranks ninth in the NHL in goals with 24.
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