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Ovechkin Says He’s Feeling ‘Much Better’ After Injury, Talks MVP Race



Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin

ARLINGTON, V.A. — After an upper-body injury at the start of the month, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin appears to be back on track, and says that he’s returning to full strength.

Sporting a hoodie and his classic smile, the Great 8 discussed his recovery and recent play that has seen him put up points in five straight games, including three goals over that span.

“Right now I feel much better,” Ovechkin said. “Obviously those days when we have optionals and days off… it kind of help us. We still have experienced group of guys who know how they have to control their body and that’s the most important thing.”

With his hot streak, the 36-year-old has rocketed up the NHL leaderboard, topping Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid to take over the league lead in goals (27) and points (56).

“Well I guess still have fun. I still love the game,” Ovechkin explained. “I’m enjoying being on the ice, off the ice, spend time with this group of guys. So I think that’s the most important thing.”

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His play this season, which has included a career-best start, has put the 36-year-old in the conversation for the Hart Trophy. However, as he usually is, the Russian stayed modest, saying that he hasn’t thought too much about the MVP race.

“To be honest with you I don’t pay attention to this conversations,” Ovechkin admitted. “Just to be middle of the season and it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen in the regular season.”

Right now, the Capitals are looking to turn things around after dropping six of their last eight contests and falling into a Wild Card spot. They will face off against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday and have a busy slate until the All-Star break, and then will return for 10 games in the month of February. During that time, Ovechkin believes there will be an opportunity to recharge and look ahead to the postseason.

“This is time of the year you know you have to prepare yourself for playoffs run so you have to use those days smart probably get your body ready to get going,” Ovechkin noted.

Washington faces Ottawa at 7 p.m.

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