The Washington Times - February 21, 2012, 01:05PM

RALEIGH, N.C. | Like a youth hockey team, the Washington Capitals stepped off their bus half-dressed with equipment into the practice facility on the outskirts of Raleigh. But as they walked in, one thing became obvious: Alex Ovechkin wasn’t there.

The rest of the team, including Brooks Laich, was present and accounted for. Ovechkin had a maintenance day, a team spokesman said.

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Dale Hunter said he expects Ovechkin to play Wednesday night at the Ottawa Senators.

He had an equipment problem and we just give him a maintenance day today, so he should be good tomorrow,” Hunter said Tuesday.

Ovechkin played just 15:43 on Monday night and missed over six minutes in the second period with what Hunter said was an “equipment issue.” But the captain was noticeably limping in the locker room afterward.

Caps practice lines:

Jason Chimera - Brooks Laich - Troy Brouwer

Matt Hendricks - Mathieu Perreault - Alexander Semin

Mike Knuble - Marcus Johansson - Joel Ward

Jay Beagle - Jeff Halpern

All eight defensemen and both goalies were on the ice for practice at Raleigh Center Ice.