Tag:Capitals
Posted on: March 21, 2011 1:35 pm
Edited on: March 24, 2011 1:29 am
 

Injury sidelines Caps' Ovechkin 7-10 days

ARLINGTON, Va. --- Words like “nagging injury,” “aches and pains” and “maintenance” were tossed around the practice rink to explain why Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin' will miss seven to 10 days.

Then Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau was asked if Tuesday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers was a playoff contest -- not just one of 82 regular season games -- if his captain would play.

“Probably not,” Boudreau told reporters on Monday. 

The official word is that Ovechkin is sore. Not upper body. Not lower body. Just sore. 

“He's had some nagging injuries for a while now,” Boudreau said. “We only have one game in six days, so we thought this would be the best time to get him completely healed up.”

Ovechkin collided knee-on-knee with Detroit's Darren Helm last week and Ovechkin is also thought to have some sort of hand injury, but Boudreau refused to go into specifics. 

“He hasn't practiced with the team in a while,” Boudreau said. “He wants to feel better. He doesn't like waking up every moning and feeling like he's got to go through an hour of (treatment) to get ready for practice. He wants to play. The playoffs are important to him.”

Ovechkin has been a fairly sturdy player through the first six years of his career, including the last couple seasons where he's missed about as many games due to suspension and injury. 

But injury is just theory for his lack of production this season. Even before it was announced he'd be out of the lineup, Ovechkin was already on pace for career lows in goals. He has 29 goals and 48 assists this season, although he has seen a spurt in production of late. 

“I don't know what's wrong with him,” linemate Mike Knuble said. “Like anybody else, he's banged up a little bit. You never know the severity of it. . . . It's nothing season-ending by any means.”

The Caps were already without forwards Eric Fehr (shoulder) and Jason Arnott (undisclosed injury) along with defenseman Mike Green (concussion). Boudreau said Fehr is questionable for Tuesday. Arnott skated on his own before practice began and Boudreau said “he felt good,” but gave no indication when ether Arnott or Green would return. 

Washington just got center Nicklas Backstrom back Friday from a thumb injury that kept him out five games. 
-- A.J. Perez
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 11, 2011 3:42 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2011 3:46 pm
 

Playoff Watch: ‘Canes look to solve Caps



Carolina Hurricanes (31-26-10) at Washington Capitals (38-20-10)

Verizon Center, 7 p.m. ET

SEASON SERIES: Carolina 0-3-1; Washington 4-0-0

IMPLICATIONS: Carolina would pull into a tie with Buffalo and the New York Rangers at 74 points with a win. (The ‘Canes would technically be in eighth place since they have a game in hand.) The Caps would move to within two points of the East lead as Philly has the night off. Conversely, a loss coupled with a Tampa Bay win Friday would knock them out of the division lead since the Lightning would have a game in hand and, thus, a better winning percentage.

BREAKDOWN: This would be a good time for the Hurricanes to get their first victory of the season against their Southeast Division rivals. Other than a 3-0 tilt on Oct. 27, these games have all been decided in Washington’s favor by a single goal. 

The Caps enter on a six-game winning streak and a victory would give them the longest string of wins on the season. Braden Holtby, who earned his first career shutout against Wednesday against the Oilers, will get the start in net for Washington.  The Washington Post’s Katie Carrera reports No. 1 goalie Michal Neuvirth is healthy, although left this morning’s optional skate early. The Caps will again be without first-line center Nicklas Backstrom, who won’t get the cast that protects his injured left thumb removed for a few days. 

Cam Ward will be back in the Carolina net tonight after a one-game break. He had started the previous 24 games in a row for Carolina. He is 13-7-4 with a 2.58 goals-against average and three shutouts lifetime against Washington. 

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Carolina center Eric Staal vs. Washington ceter Marcus Johansson. Staal, one away from reaching the 30-goal mark, has a point in four consecutive games. Johansson, a rookie, has stepped into the No. 1 line after Backstrom went out after the second period of Monday’s game. The 20-year-old gets to play with Alex Ovechkin on one of his wings, so that’s never a bad thing. 

KEY STAT: 41. Number of games out of 55 the Caps have won at least  half of their faceoffs. 

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images
 
 
 
 
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