Washington Capitals star winger Alex Ovechkin is officially sidelined, now set to miss his second straight game with a lower-body injury, per team reporter Bailey Johnson. Ovechkin has been dealing with the injury for about a week, taking part in the optional practices and traveling with the team to New York. Ovechkin’s next chance to play will be when the Capitals face the Anaheim Ducks at home on Tuesday.
Ovechkin is experiencing the lowest goals-per-game pace of his career this season, boasting just eight through 39 games this season. But that hasn’t limited his scoring upside, with the 38-year-old still leading the Washington roster with 27 points. He also leads all Capitals forwards in ice time, averaging roughly 19-and-a-half each game. It’s been an impressive year for the 1386-game veteran of the league, who is proving just how effective he still is, even if his illustrious chase of Wayne Gretzky’s goal-scoring record may be dwindling.
Other notes from around the league:
- Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson spoke about the likelihood of signing high-end rookie defenseman Alex Vlasic to a long-term deal – sharing that the team is definitely considering weighing the idea but wants to be sure before committing to a long-term cap hit. Vlasic currently has 10 points in 37 games this season, adding 25 penalty minutes and a +7. He ranks second in scoring among Hawks defenders, and first among the team’s multiple rookie defenders.
- The Minnesota Wild have sent forward Nic Petan back to the minor leagues. Petan was recalled on December 31st, appearing in the team’s last five games. He managed two points and a -2 over the stretch. Petan has also appeared in 26 AHL games this season, scoring 10 goals and 28 points.
- Kieffer Bellows has signed a minor league deal with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, officially joining the team through the rest of the season. Bellows has already appeared in 25 games with the club, scoring 14 goals and 26 points, leading the team in goals and ranking second in points. Bellows played in 27 NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers last season, scoring three goals and recording a -7. The New York Islanders drafted Bellows 19th-overall in the 2016 NHL Draft and is one of seven players from that First Round to not yet play in 100 NHL games. He remains five games short, managing 31 points in 95 career games.