Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin missed practice sessions on Sunday and Monday with an unspecified lower-body injury he suffered in this past Friday’s preseason finale against the Philadelphia Flyers. Washington coach Peter Laviolette said the injury left the future Hall of Famer day-to-day ahead of Wednesday’s regular-season opener against the New York Rangers.
However, Tom Gulitti noted for the NHL’s website that Ovechkin participated in optional practice Tuesday, and the Associated Press (h/t ESPN) added the 36-year-old is questionable heading into Wednesday’s game.
“Certainly a positive sign that he’s out there,” Laviolette commented as Ovechkin skated. “We’ll do what’s best for the player and make sure that they’re healthy and we won’t put them in any situations where they might be jeopardized out there. But obviously it’s great to see him out there.”
According to Gulitti, Ovechkin skated for roughly 25 minutes, with a couple of breaks, but was not made available to reporters. If the prolific goal-scorer isn’t cleared to play Wednesday, his next opportunity to make his season debut will come when Washington faces the two-time defending Stanley Cup-champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
Ovechkin is beginning the campaign on 730 career goals, 164 behind Wayne Gretzky for first all time in that category.