Capitals Notebook

Ovechkin's Treatment Questioned

By Tarik El-Bashir
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 29, 2007

OTTAWA, Dec. 28 -- One day after being cut on the thigh by an opposing player's skate blade, Alex Ovechkin said he "probably" will play Saturday night against the Eastern Conference-leading Ottawa Senators.

The winger left Washington's 4-3 overtime loss in Pittsburgh on Thursday early in the third period after Kris Letang's skate caught him when he checked the defenseman along the boards.

Ovechkin, who entered Friday night as the NHL's second-leading goal scorer with 26, did not return to the game.

He also did not practice on Friday at Scotiabank Place, where the Capitals will aim to upset the Senators for a second time this season.

On Nov. 8, Washington ended Ottawa's franchise-best eight-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory.

Ovechkin said he plans to skate Saturday morning during the pregame practice before deciding whether to play. He declined to discuss the injury in much detail, but said the cut, which required several stitches, does not limit his range of motion and that he's not in pain.

"Probably I play," Ovechkin said. "After the morning skate tomorrow, we'll see."

Ovechkin went almost immediately to the visitors' locker room at Mellon Arena for medical treatment after suffering the cut. But he said he had to wait for the Penguins' medical staff to finish tending to a Pittsburgh player, and therefore ended up missing the rest of the game.

Coach Bruce Boudreau was not pleased by the delay.

"You make your assumptions on that," Boudreau said. "I don't know why. I'm just told that it took upwards of a half-hour."

Ovechkin added: "If he comes earlier, maybe I play. I don't know. It's over now."

Ovechkin, 22, has missed only one game in his two-plus seasons in the NHL, a 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Jan 31, 2006.

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