Alex Ovechkin left Capitals practice after roughly 20 minutes Friday, a day after he was struck in the chin by an errant puck.
It was unclear why Ovechkin left the workout but Coach Adam Oates said that the star winger is fine. Ovechkin simply asked if he could make it a quick practice. The rest of the team stayed out for a full, hour-long practice.
“Yesterday he got doinked pretty good, stitches,” Oates said. “He got a good sweat today and just [asked] can he get out early, I said sure. He’s fine.”
On to a few other quick notes from practice:
>> Eric Fehr skated for roughly 10 minutes Friday morning before Capitals practice in his first appearance on the ice since he suffered an upper-body injury at the New York Rangers March 24.
On Thursday, Oates said that Fehr was “a ways away” and from the brevity of Fehr’s workout, that still looks to be the case.
Fehr will not travel with the team to Buffalo this afternoon but Oates said it’s possible the right wing could join the Capitals in Carolina.
“He’s going to skate here, he can get more done,” Oates said. “If he feels that maybe he can go against Carolina we can bring him up.”
>> Injured defensemen John Erskine (left hand/wrist), Tomas Kundratek (sprained MCL) and Tom Poti (back) all took part in the full practice and participated fully in drills. Erskine and Kundratek will make the trip while Poti will not.
The defensive pairings changed throughout various drills but Erskine did skate alongside John Carlson, his usual partner before the injury, through some portions of the workout. It looks as though it may be a few more days before the rugged defenseman is ready to return, though.
“I don’t think I’m ready to play a game yet, but I think I’m getting closer,” said Erskine, who is still hoping to return by the Capitals game at Carolina. “When the majority of that pain that I’m getting goes away then I think I’ll be ready.”
>> Jack Hillen, who missed Thursday’s practice with an illness, took part in the full practice Friday and seems no worse for wear.
>> Forward lines Friday were the same as the past few days: