Capitals star winger Alex Ovechkin missed practice on Thursday with a lower-body injury. That leaves his status in doubt for Friday’s game against the New Jersey Devils.
Ovechkin also missed Tuesday’s game against the Ottawa Senators. He was last seen on the ice at the morning skate at Madison Square Garden before Sunday’s game against the Rangers.
Ovechkin will accompany Washington on the first leg of it’s five-game road trip to New Jersey and Montreal. He was originally hurt, according to coach Adam Oates, during he second period Sunday’s game against the Rangers. There was a second-period collision with New York defenseman Dan Girardi that left Ovechkin hobbled though he returned to finish the game.
“Tough to say right now. We’ll have to see how he feels in the morning,” Oates said. “But if he can skate [Friday] we’d consider putting him in.”
Oates also said he’d consider using Ovechkin in selective minutes, especially on the power play. Washington plays in Montreal on Saturday night in back-to-back games. But Oates also noted the team wouldn’t put Ovechkin in a situation where he could worsen the injury. The back-to-back games will come into play, too.
Ovechkin still leads the NHL in goals scored with 35 despite missing three games this season. That’s eight more than his closest competition. Ovechkin also has 49 points, 14th overall.
“It’s a challenge for all of us and we all need to step up,” center Nicklas Backstrom said. “With him or without him, we’re still in a slump so we’ve got to dig ourselves out of it all together.”