Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will serve his one-game suspension against Montreal on Jan. 27 for skipping the NHL All-Star Game, according to Coach Todd Reirden.

Ovechkin was named a captain for the league’s annual event in St. Louis, to be played on Jan. 25, after receiving the most fan votes of any player in the Metropolitan Division. However, the 34-year-old captain decided he would not attend, citing his desire to rest and stay ready for the second half of the season and the playoffs.

His league-mandated punishment for skipping the event was the one-game suspension, with the option that the player and team could choose whether he missed the game preceding or following the all-star break. The Capitals’ final game before the break is Saturday against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. With that contest being a divisional game, it made the most sense for the team to want Ovechkin then, as opposed to its one-off away game in Canada following the break.

The Capitals are 8-7-1 against Metropolitan Division opponents, following their 5-2 win against New Jersey on Thursday.

With no Ovechkin at the All-Star Game, Washington will be represented by John Carlson, Braden Holtby, T.J. Oshie and Reirden. It will be Oshie’s first All-Star Game after he was voted in during the “Last Men In” fan vote. Oshie got in along with Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner, St. Louis Blues winger David Perron and Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes.

It is Carlson’s second All-Star Game, Holtby’s fifth-straight and Reirden’s second straight as the Metro coach.

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