Alex Ovechkin returned to the lineup on Monday after missing the previous four games due to a lower-body injury. He didn’t last long before being forced to leave again.
Ovechkin skated one 39-second shift in the Capitals’ 6-3 win over the Rangers. As he attempted to check Artemi Panarin and then peel back up ice, Ovechkin’s right skate got awkwardly got tangled with the Breadman’s. Ovechkin, in discomfort, immediately left the ice and went down to the locker room where the Capitals announced he was out for the game.
So what happened?
“He felt really good in the morning,” Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said. “You saw him practicing before we left. Felt really good in the morning. Went into the warmups, not quite as good. We were already shorthanded so it’s not like we were making a lineup decision.
“He got into the game and in the first shift, he didn’t feel comfortable,” Lavy added. “At that point, again we’re not going to push or risk (it). I guess we were more going off how he felt yesterday. How he felt in the pregame skate. There weren’t any issues. It wasn’t quite as good in the warmups so he came out for a spin and decided to call it off.”
Laviolette was asked if the shift made Ovechkin’s injury worse.
“No. That was the whole thing,” he said. “If he felt anything that didn’t feel normal then he would get off. I don’t know it was a 30-second shift.”
Laviolette did not provide a further update on Ovechkin’s condition. The Capitals will practice at noon on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden where we might learn more.
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