The Washington Capitals got some good news on Friday, as Alex Ovechkin returned to the ice to take part in practice ahead of a busy weekend.
Ovechkin had missed the last two practices, taking a maintenance day on Tuesday and then not skating for precautionary reasons on Thursday due to an upper-body injury. Head coach Peter Laviolette said that he wasn’t overly concerned with Ovechkin’s injury, and was optimistic that he would play this weekend.
“He hardly ever misses. We had a day off yesterday, but he doesn’t even like missing today,” Laviolette said. “This is a guy who was in COVID protocol and came out and played five hours later. So he wants to play games.”
He was out on the ice early on Friday and stayed on the ice for the entire practice. He took part in line rushes, returning to his spot on the 1LW alongside Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie. Aliaksei Protas, who subbed in for Ovechkin on Thursday, skated as an extra on Friday.
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It’s a great sign for Washington, who is looking to snap a four-game skid and has a busy slate against New York and Vancouver this weekend. Ovechkin has two assists in his last four games and leads Washington in goals (24) and points (52). His 52 points this season also rank third overall in the NHL.
In 37 games this season, the Capitals captain has continued to smash records, climbing to fourth all-time on the NHL’s goals list (754) and breaking the NHL’s all-time power-play goals record (275). His performance also earned him his 12th NHL All-Star Game selection, and he will wear the “C” for the Metropolitan Division.
“It’s privilege. It doesn’t matter if you voted by fan or the league select you. It’s privilege, it’s representing your team, yourself, and obviously, have fun with the best players out there on the ice,” Ovechkin said of the ASG. “It’s pretty cool moment.”