- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Alex Ovechkin is OK. So is Marcus Johansson. The forwards collided during the Washington Capitals’ scrimmage Tuesday against the Reading Royals of the ECHL, but both returned to action and didn’t appear to suffer any injuries.

Ovechkin needed to be attended to by trainer Greg Smith in the locker room for a cut on his chin, but the captain laughed about the incident afterward.

“My mouth was bleeding so I had to go to Smitty’s room and check it out if I lose more tooth or not,” Ovechkin said. “I lose my breathing because I didn’t see him and I hit helmet with my mouth. But then I can’t breathe, I start screaming. But after that couple seconds, I feel pretty good.”

It was a scary scene as Ovechkin and Johansson tried crossing in the neutral zone and didn’t see each other before colliding. They were down on the ice for about a minute.

“Everyone in the building went pretty quiet,” forward Tom Wilson said. “That was definitely scary for a second as they both went down. It was good to see them get up.”

Ovechkin is trying out right wing after a career on the left side. He conceded that played a role in the collision.

“I was on the right side and you know it’s kind of something new for me, crossing [at a] different angle,” Ovechkin said. “So I don’t know whose fault it is, but I don’t feel pretty good after that.”

After the immediate concern wore off and Ovechkin returned from the locker room, “It’s something to laugh about now,” Johansson said.

At the time, though, it was a big deal.

“I think that that woke everybody up,” coach Adam Oates said. “That, ‘Oh, yeah, I guess we got to pay attention.’”

Oates isn’t worried about this hiccup in Ovechkin’s adjustment to right wing.

“I just think that’ll evolve,” Oates said. “He’ll learn. He’s a smart guy. He’ll learn it very fast.”

Oates praises Wilson

Wilson was a late invitee to Caps training camp because at 18 years old and with plenty of established NHL forwards on hand, the first-round pick seemed to need something stunning to happen to make the team.

That still might be the case, but Oates again Tuesday talked glowingly of Wilson and his improvement from July’s development camp.

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