In a 0-0 game against a New York Islanders team tied with the Capitals for first place in the East Division on Thursday, Alex Ovechkin came off the ice for his last shift with 2:49 remaining in regulation. That was the last time he played in the game, including overtime and the shootout.
Though he did not leave the bench, the lack of ice time for the team's star player in the critical moments of a critical game stood out.
Following the game, head coach Peter Laviolette confirmed that Ovechkin was unavailable, but had no specifics as to why.
“I don’t even know what is wrong," Laviolette said. "I know that he wasn’t available during that time.”
Ovechkin finished with 17:18 of ice time and four shots on goal.