The Washington Capitals were without star forward Alex Ovechkin, who missed his first game Saturday (due to injury) since May 5, 2015 due to a lower-body injury. His ability to stay healthy throughout his career is one reason why many people believe that the 35-year-old has a chance to break the goals scored record (held by Wayne Gretzky). However, the forward will be a game-time decision on Tuesday against the Islanders as well, according to NHL.com.
“I think with some injuries, you don’t know what’s going to go on, whether somebody’s going to be available or not available and that’s why I think people say ’day to day’, because they’re unsure,” Washington coach Peter Laviolette said Saturday. “Will he be there for the next game? I’m not sure at this point, so we’ll err on the side of caution at this point in the season. We’re not going to risk anything as we head towards the playoffs, but hopefully he continues to improve.”
Ovechkin left late in the third period of Thursday’s game with the Islanders due to the injury. He has 24 goals in 43 games this season and sits sixth on the NHL all-time goals leaders with 730, just one short of tying Marcel Dionne.
- Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said (via the Penguins) that injured players Evgeni Malkin, Brandon Tanev and Frederick Gaudreau all skated Sunday morning with the taxi squad. While the coach admitted they all are making progress, he said their status with the team has not changed. Malkin has been out with a lower body injury since March 16. Tanev has appeared in just two games since March 18 with an upper-body injury, while Gaudreau has been out since April 11 with a lower-body injury.
- With just nine games remaining in the Philadelphia Flyers season, Philadelphia Inquirer’s Ed Barkowitz writes that one of the key things to watch is the return and the play of young goaltender Carter Hart. However, head coach Alain Vigneault has not indicated when Hart will return from the mild knee sprain he suffered on April 15, suggesting it might be a bit longer before he returns to the ice. The team is 1-2-1 without him since the injury.
- The Athletic’s Rick Carpiniello (subscription required) writes that New York Rangers rookie Alexis Lafreniere looked impressive Friday when he was promoted to the top line next to Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich when Chris Kreider sat out, scoring a goal and an assist in the process. The scribe writes that the team might benefit during the final stretch of games remaining this season to see what Lafreniere can do on the top line.