As the players trickled onto the ice for the morning skate, one player was notably absent: Alex Ovechkin. The Caps' captain will be a game-time decision for Tuesday's game against the San Jose Sharks due to personal reasons, according to head coach Barry Trotz.
Trotz was brief when asked about Ovechkin, not offering any explanation for his absence other than "personal reasons." When asked if Ovechkin would play in Tuesday's game, Trotz said, "I don't know. That'll be game-time decision."
Skating in Ovechkin's place on the top line was Stanislav Galiev who was a healthy scratch in Saturday's opener. With Nicklas Backstrom and Chris Brown both still dealing with injuries, Galiev is poised to play in his first game of the season should Ovechkin indeed be out.
Galiev skated in Ovechkin's spot on the top line and on the power play in the morning skate, but will not play there in the game.
"We'll move lines around," Trotz said. The head coach also said that he intended to keep the fourth line of Brooks Laich, Michael Latta and Sean Collins intact meaning any line shuffling will come from the top nine.
Lines at the morning skate:
Stanislav Galiev - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson - Andre Burakovsky - Justin Williams
Jason Chimera - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson
Brooks Laich - Michael Latta - Sean Collins
Brooks Orpik - John Carlson
Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen
Nate Schmidt - Dmitry Orlov
Braden Holtby first off the ice