Alex Ovechkin rejoined the Capitals out on the ice for practice after missing Saturday’s morning skate and the team’s game later that evening against the Vegas Golden Knights. Without their captain for the first time this season, the Capitals fell to the Pacific Division’s top team, 6-2.
Ovechkin, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, was a full participant during Monday’s skate, taking line rushes as one of three wing players on a four-man first line with Dylan Strome, Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Aliaksei Protas.
Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette gave an update to the media afterward.
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“I thought he looked good, but he’s still day-to-day,” Laviolette said. “It was good to get him back out there though.”
The Athletics’ Tarik El-Bashir, trying to get more information, asked Laviolette if the team would have a better idea during Tuesday’s morning skate.
“Yeah. Day-to-day,” Laviolette said as he smiled and flashed a wise-guy look. “Day one is today, and then we’ll see how he does in the second part of it tomorrow.
“But yeah, it was good to see him out there. He looked good. He moved well out there.”
Laviolette previously seemed to suggest that it was a nagging lower-body injury Ovi has been playing through.
As for the team’s poor performance without their superstar winger, the media suggested that the team might be tired after playing its fifth game in eight nights.
“I’m not going to sit here and make excuses,” Laviolette said. “Everybody has a tough schedule. We just weren’t good. It was nice to have a day off. It was nice not to have to use energy. It was nice to come in a few days later and talk about what happened. Things we can do better get a good workout in for forty minutes hopefully it sets you up for a pretty good game tomorrow.
“I think we’ve been playing pretty good hockey lately. Everything we did in that game was not in the same direction that we were moving in before that. … It didn’t happen for us that game.”
Laviolette said he felt the team was “past it” and that he was pleased with the pace of the skate.
“It was great training out there today,” he said. “Get ready for tomorrow. It’s going to be a tough match.”
If it will be with Ovechkin, we will have to wait and see.
Header photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB