After missing the last two practices, Alex Ovechkin took the ice for the Washington Capitals’ optional skate on Tuesday. He is currently listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
The 36-year-old was injured in the Capitals’ preseason finale over the Philadelphia Flyers after delivering a hit on Travis Konecny in the first period. Ovechkin fell to the ice and stayed down for a moment before skating off the ice under his own power and immediately heading down the tunnel. He appeared to be limping a bit and was favoring his left leg.
Ovechkin got on the ice for a moment before getting off and shortly returned. He appeared to be pacing himself and getting his legs back at first. He participated in the team’s drill and was shooting the puck normally. The Russian winger was in full gear and not wearing a no-contact jersey, but was not a full participant at practice.
Although he was pacing himself to begin with, Ovechkin appeared to pick up the speed and look more confident as time went on. He was active in drills, practicing shooting, working on one-timers from the office and skating well on the ice. Head coach Peter Laviolette didn’t have an answer on whether or not he skates tomorrow.
“That’s a good sign. You know, we’ll get an update and evaluation as he gets off the ice… I haven’t spoken to him yet,” Laviolette said, adding, “It’s great to see.”
Ovi back out there. Skating and getting his legs back a bit. pic.twitter.com/oVbGz1sTLG
— Sammi Silber (@sammi_silber) October 12, 2021
Washington announced its opening night roster Tuesday, led by Ovechkin and also featuring 23 skaters, minus Nicklas Backstrom (LTIR). Ovechkin is not on the IR. He signed a five-year extension with the team over the offseason and is 165 goals away from breaking Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goals record. He must average 33 tallies a season and currently sits at 730.
With Ovechkin out, Connor McMichael was filling in for him on the top line LW alongside Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson. McMichael, as well as with Hendrix Lapierre and Beck Malenstyn, all made the cut.
READ MORE ON WHN: Capitals Announce Opening Night Roster
Also on the ice for optional skate: Daniel Sprong, Ilya Samsonov, Martin Fehervary and more.