Fatima Al Ali, the hockey player with the sick stickhandling skills who Capitals great and team ambassador Peter Bondra met on a November trip to Abu Dhabi, is in Washington this week as part of the NHL’s celebration of “Hockey is for Everyone Month.” Al Ali was all smiles in the Capitals’ locker room after Tuesday’s 5-0 win at Verizon Center, where she met her favorite player, Alex Ovechkin, and other members of the team.


Fatima Al Ali poses for a photo with Nicklas Backstrom. (Ben Sumner/The Washington Post)

Al Ali, a member of the UAE women’s national team, attended the Capitals’ practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday. With a throng of reporters looking on, she took one-timers from Ovechkin’s favorite spot in the left facoeff circle and chatted with the Capitals’ captain, who presented her with a game-used, autographed stick. Al Ali will participate in a ceremonial puck drop before Thursday’s game against the Red Wings.

Al Ali, who was introduced to hockey while working as the official photographer for the UAE men’s national team in 2008, spent Monday sightseeing. She also sat courtside with her brother at the Wizards’ 140-135 loss to the Cavaliers.

Before attending Tuesday’s Capitals game, she visited the UAE Embassy and presented Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba with a jersey signed by the UAE women’s national team.