Ovechkin remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury, Coach Barry Trotz said, while rookie Andre Burakovsky will stick around at least until Saturday.
Ovechkin sits as Capitals get a goal from newly acquired Curtis Glencross, then yield two late in 2-1 loss.
Washington faces the last team it had not faced this season, with snow blanketing the streets outside Verizon Center.
Nursing the longest goal drought of his career since his rookie season, Laich will return to the lineup Thursday against Minnesota.
Forward Michael Latta is also expected to miss Thursday’s matchup with the Minnesota Wild after suffering an upper-body injury.
Hillen reflects on the hectic first day, a new opportunity with the Hurricanes and the absence of ill-will toward the team that dealt him.
Lewington had a strong showing at rookie camp and earned an appearance in the preseason opener.
Following their trades to Washington, Tim Gleason and Curtis Glencross didn’t get much time to settle in.
Glencross was on the ice for two goals against in Tuesday’s win over Columbus, but one resulted after a slick feed that sprung linemate Troy Brouwer for a breakaway got turned into a counter-rush.
In the dying moments of a physical, see-saw game, Washington’s special teams each delivered at a crucial moment.