Alex Ovechkin rejoined the Capitals out on the ice for practice after missing Saturday’s morning skate and the team’s game later that night against the Vegas Golden Knights. Without their captain for the first time this season, the Capitals fell to the Pacific Division’s top team, 6-2.
Ovechkin, who is out day-to-day with a lower-body injury, was a full participant during Monday’s skate and took line rushes as one of the three wingers on a four-man first line featuring Dylan Strome, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, and Aliaksei Protas.
Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette gave an update to the media afterward.
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“I thought he looked good, but he’s still day-to-day,” Laviolette said. “It was good to get him back out there though.”
The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir, trying to get more information, asked Laviolette if the team would have a better idea during Tuesday’s morning skate.
“Yeah. Day-to-day,” Laviolette said as he smiled and flashed a wise guy look. “One day is today and then we’ll see how he is in the second part of that tomorrow.
“But yeah, it was good to see him out there. He looked good. He was moving well out there.”
Laviolette seemed to suggest previously that was a nagging lower-body injury Ovi has been playing through.
As for the team’s poor performance without their superstar winger, the media suggested that maybe the team was tired after playing its fifth game in eight nights.
“I’m not going to sit here an make excuses,” Laviolette said. “Everybody has a tough schedule. We just weren’t good. It was great to have a day off. It was great to not have to exert any energy. It was good to come in a couple days later and talk about what happened. Things we can do better. Have a good practice for forty minutes, hopefully, sets it up for a pretty good game tomorrow.
“I think we’ve been playing some pretty good hockey as of late. Everything we did in that game wasn’t of the same direction that we were moving in before that… It didn’t happen for us that game.”
Laviolette said that he felt the team was “past it” and that he was pleased with the pace the skate had.
“It was great practice out there today,” he said. “Getting ready for tomorrow. It’s going to be a tough game.”
If it’ll be with Ovechkin, we’ll have to wait and see.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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