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Ovechkin On Return From Injury For Capitals: ‘Not Gonna Say I Was 100 Percent’

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin made his return from injury and discussed how he felt against the Colorado Avalanche.



With the Washington Capitals shorthanded and the bench getting shorter during Tuesday's contest against the Colorado Avalanche, captain Alex Ovechkin made his return from a lower-body injury so that his team could have enough forwards to take on the high-flying Avalanche. However, he wasn't exactly operating at full strength.

While he found twine and said he was well enough to play, he wouldn't commit to saying he was a full go for action.

"I'm not going to say I was 100 percent, but I was able to play," Ovechkin said.

Ovechkin had missed Saturday's game against the Vegas Golden Knights due to what the team called a "lower-body injury." He ended up joining the team for practice on Monday and took part in the team's optional morning skate on Tuesday before making his return to game action against Colorado. Ovechkin ended up leading all forwards with 23:32 minutes of ice time and picked up his 31st goal of the season off a one-timer from his office at 5-on-5.

The 37-year-old mainly operated on a line with Dylan Strome and Nicolas Aube-Kubel. Anthony Mantha and Sonny Milano also got some time with him, and Ovechkin ended up taking more shifts with Tom Wilson going down with a lower-body injury early in the second period.

Washington has a day off on Wednesday before facing the Pittsburgh Penguins, who passed the Capitals for the first Wild Card spot, in a key division showdown on Thursday. Ovechkin will also try to get some time to rest during the All-Star break, though he is expected to participate in the 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend in South Florida after missing the last three years. He couldn't play in 2022 due to COVID-19, and he sat out for 2019 and 2020 to rest up for the second half of the season.

"Nobody wants to miss a game, no matter what," he added. "It's tough, but the guys stepping up and play well [today]."

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