Ovechkin injured during Capitals' loss to Blue Jackets

By Tarik El-Bashir
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 2, 2009

The Washington Capitals suffered their second straight overtime defeat Sunday, this one a 5-4 decision against the Columbus Blue Jackets. But it was the loss they suffered early in the second period that might prove to be much more significant.

Alex Ovechkin was hurt during a scrum and missed the final 33 minutes 50 seconds of the game. Ovechkin said afterward that he had suffered an upper-body injury and that he was day-to-day.

The two-time MVP refused to say how the injury occurred or where he was hurting. And when asked if he feared the injury to be serious, he said, "I don't know."

Ovechkin did not appear to be in pain when he spoke to reporters in the dressing room wearing a suit.

It's believed that Ovechkin suffered the injury during a shoving match with Jason Chimera, then left the game after landing on his left arm at 6:50 of the second period after bumping into Raffi Torres in open ice.

"I can't tell you how I got hurt," Ovechkin said. "It's day-to-day, but just in case I didn't go back on the ice."

The Capitals' next game is Wednesday in New Jersey. Whether Ovechkin will be able to suit up for the game isn't known, but his knack for playing through pain is well known. Despite being one of the game's biggest hitters, Ovechkin has only missed two games because of injury (last season because of a bruised heel and in 2005-06 because of a mild groin muscle pull.)

Sunday's contest game was physical from the outset, with Ovechkin taking the leading role as usual. He blasted Chimera with a body check near the Capitals' bench, incensing the agitator and setting the stage for the confrontation that led to Ovechkin's injury.

During stoppage in play, Chimera bumped Ovechkin as the two passed near the benches. Ovechkin responded with a two-handed shove, igniting a multiplayer fracas. At one point Jared Boll reached in and grabbed Ovechkin.

The Capitals' winger appeared to be favoring his left arm or shoulder as he sat in the penalty box for roughing. When he came out for his next shift, he collided with Torres and went straight to the dressing room.

"It was just a moment of the game," Ovechkin said of his confrontation with Chimera. "Nothing happened. [Chimera] hit me, I hit him. It was a little battle over there but nothing happen."

Several Capitals said they wanted to rally around their fallen star. Instead, they blew two third-period leads.

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