The Washington Capitals will not have Alex Ovechkin in the lineup again this evening, as he continues to deal with an upper-body injury. The superstar winger did participate in today’s skate, however, and head coach Peter Laviolette told reporters including Samantha Pell of the Washington Post that it is too early to tell whether Ovechkin will play in the season finale tomorrow.
Just the fact that he’s back on the ice is obviously a good sign, as it at least appears as though Ovechkin will be ready to start the playoffs. Who he and the rest of the Capitals will face in the first round is still a mystery, as they continue to battle with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final Metropolitan Division playoff spot, but having the 50-goal scorer in the lineup is obviously the biggest priority at this point.
- Marco Rossi is headed back to Minnesota to be evaluated for an injury according to Michael Russo of The Athletic, who notes that several players from the Iowa Wild will be recalled as “Black Aces” in the near future. Iowa failed to make the playoffs this season meaning Rossi and others–which, according to Russo will include Zane McIntyre and Calen Addison–can come up to practice with the team and be ready for any injuries that may present themselves in the first round.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs will rest some of their important players in the regular season finale tomorrow night, as Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are both not expected to be in the lineup, according to Mark Masters of TSN. The team will also rest goaltender Jack Campbell and a decision on John Tavares–who missed practice today due to “maintenance”–will be made tomorrow. That means Matthews will finish the year at 60 goals and Marner will miss a chance at hitting 100 points as the Maple Leafs focus on the daunting task of a first-round victory, something that will likely have to come at the hands of the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions. Head coach Sheldon Keefe announced that the first game of that series will be Monday, meaning they won’t have to sit with their thoughts very long.