The Washington Post

Ovechkin, nagged by injury, practices

- BY SAMANTHA PELL samantha.pell@washpost.com

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin returned to practice Friday after he sat out Thursday for what the team said were precaution­ary reasons with an upper-body injury.

Ovechkin said Friday that he has been dealing with a nagging injury. The Capitals’ last game was a 7-3 loss to the Boston Bruins on Monday in which Ovechkin played 19 minutes and had an assist. He did not participat­e in practice Tuesday, which the team characteri­zed as “a maintenanc­e day.” Washington had Wednesday off.

Ovechkin said he is hopeful he can play against the New York Islanders on Saturday at UBS Arena. Washington also plays the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday at Capital One Arena.

Ovechkin got off to a record start this season and is seen as an early front-runner for the Hart Trophy as the NHL’S MVP. He has 24 goals and hasn’t missed a game this season.

“It doesn’t matter how the season goes,” Ovechkin said. “You don’t want to get hurt; you don’t want to feel any pain in your body. So obviously . . . it’s kind of sad. But nothing you can do, right?”

On Thursday night, Ovechkin was voted captain of the Metropolit­an Division team for the league’s All-star Game on Feb. 5 in Las Vegas. Ovechkin said Friday that he was excited about the game. He skipped the past two All-star Games, citing the need for rest.

“Obviously, most important thing, I have to get healthy, and we’ll see,” Ovechkin said. “. . . It’s great stuff, you know? You’re going to see lots of great players out there.”

Note: Dmitry Orlov and Carl Hagelin remain in the league’s coronaviru­s protocols and will not travel with the team to New York, according to Capitals Coach Peter Laviolette. Orlov and Hagelin entered the protocols Monday. Capitals assistant coach Blaine Forsythe entered them Tuesday.

 ?? NICK WASS/ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who hasn’t missed a game this season, hopes to play Saturday.
NICK WASS/ASSOCIATED PRESS Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who hasn’t missed a game this season, hopes to play Saturday.

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