- The Washington Times - Friday, October 10, 2008

Alex Ovechkin practiced Thursday, showing no ill effects after leaving Tuesday’s practice early.

Ovechkin, who skated on a line with Nicklas Backstrom and Viktor Kozlov as well as both power-play units, brushed off any suggestion he had suffered an injury.

“Why do you think I was sore?” he said. “I was just trying new skates, and that’s it. … I’m OK.”

That is a welcome declaration for the Capitals, who open the regular season Friday at Atlanta.

Alexander Semin, who left practice early Tuesday as well, was on the ice Thursday skating on the second line with Sergei Fedorov and Brooks Laich.

“I was never concerned,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I knew what it was. They have bumps and bruises, and sometimes skilled guys need some time off because they play a lot of hockey.”

Ovechkin last season led the NHL in goals (65) and points (112). Semin was the Caps’ No. 2 goal scorer last year with 26.