Alex Ovechkin missed practice on Thursday due to an upper-body injury. The team called his absence precautionary. He was on the ice initially as his teammates trickled on, but skated over and spoke with head coach Peter Laviolette, then came off the ice.
This is the second straight practice Ovechkin has missed. The team was off on Wednesday and he did not practice Tuesday. Ovechkin's absence on Tuesday was called maintenance.
On his weekly appearance with The Sports Junkies on Wednesday, Laviolette said Ovechkin was out for regular maintenance and believed he would be back on Thursday. Of course, that turned out not to be the case.
"He had his gear on, he went out and came back off and so I think we're trying to make sure that everything is good for the weekend," Laviolette said. "I'm sure he would've liked to be out there today. Probably best just to try and make sure that he's good for the weekend."
Laviolette said he did not know if this was the result of an injury Ovechkin suffered in Monday's loss to the Boston Bruins.
"It could just be a fatigue or wear-and-tear thing," Laviolette said. "Hopefully it's nothing major."
Ovechkin is one of two Capitals players to play in every game this season with John Carlson being the other.
The Caps have back-to-back games over the weekend as they play on Long Island against the New York Islanders on Saturday and then return to host the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.
Laviolette said he is hopeful Ovechkin will be available for the first game on Saturday.
"[Ovechkin] hardly ever misses," Laviolette said. "We had a day off yesterday so he doesn't even like missing today. This is a guy who was in COVID protocol and came out and played five hours later. He wants to play games."