Caps' 'Russian Machine' Fine After Puck Hits Foot

By Tarik El-Bashir
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 27, 2006

VANCOUVER, B.C., Oct. 26 -- A day after Alex Ovechkin crumpled to the ice and had to be helped to the locker room after being struck on the right foot by a teammate's wrist shot, the Washington Capitals left wing showed no ill effects Thursday at practice.

Coach Glen Hanlon described his star player as "100 percent," adding that Ovechkin did not require any medical treatment. Ovechkin will be in the lineup Friday against the Canucks at General Motors Place.

"He's fine," Hanlon said. "He was flying all over the place. He walked away last night. It's nothing, zero concern. No treatment, nothing."

After skating for about an hour, Ovechkin told reporters, "I'm okay; Russian machine never breaks."

Ovechkin was hit by a shot off the stick of defenseman Shaone Morrisonn with 2.7 seconds remaining in the Capitals' 5-3 victory over the Avalanche in Denver on Wednesday, their first road win this season. Ovechkin favored his right leg as he was helped off.

Against the Avalanche, Ovechkin scored his fifth goal and was awarded the second penalty shot of his career, which he fired high and wide of Colorado goalie Peter Budaj.

But those plays weren't what people were talking about a day later. It was Ovechkin's shattering body check on Avalanche defenseman Karlis Skrastins. The impact was so hard it broke the glass, sending shards onto the ice and delaying the game for about five minutes.

"That was one of the best hits of my career," Ovechkin said Thursday.

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