Updated: 12:58 p.m.: Alex Ovechkin is questionable for tonight’s game because of a lower-body injury, according to Coach Dale Hunter. While Ovechkin will be a game-time decision, Hunter said, there didn’t appear to be much reason for optimism Wednesday morning at Scotiabank Place.
Ovechkin was on the ice for the start of Washington’s morning skate but was on the ice for roughly eight minutes before he headed back into the dressing room. While on the ice, Ovechkin appeared to be testing something out.
At one point, Ovechkin tried to gather speed and explode through the neutral zone but after a few strides he had to pull up. He skated over to the bench immediately and went down the tunnel.
“I don’t feel pretty good right now,” said Ovechkin, who appeared frustrated in what was a short conversation with reporters. “We’ll see how it goes before the game.”
It’s tough to tell if Ovechkin will be able to face the Senators in what is another important game for Washington, but his quick departure from the morning skate certainly isn’t a good sign.
Wednesday morning marked the first time Ovechkin had been on the ice since late in the third period of Washington’s 5-0 loss to Carolina on Monday. Ovechkin was seen limping after that contest, in which he left the second period with 6:02 remaining and wouldn’t return until the third. Ovechkin skated only five shifts (3:14 in ice time) in the third.
Ovechkin finished the game against Carolina with his second lowest ice time of the season (15:43) but both he and Hunter said it was a “skate problem” that kept him off the ice.
On Wednesday, Hunter acknowledged that Ovechkin is coping with a lower-body injury.
While it’s unclear precisely when Ovechkin may have suffered the injury, he absorbed a hip check by the Hurricanes’ Bryan Allen eight minutes into the second period of the game that appeared to put strain on his left leg.
— The Capitals recalled forward Keith Aucoin this morning and it’s tough to imagine he would have been brought up unless the team believed one of the regulars might not be able to suit up.
— Tomas Vokoun will get the nod in net tonight for the Capitals and will oppose Craig Anderson.
— Alexander Semin and Jeff Halpern were the only players who didn’t take the ice at all this morning. It was an optional skate.