ARLINGTON, Va. -- Head coach Peter Laviolette said Sunday that he does not believe Alex Ovechkin's lower-body injury is a long-term issue and that it was possible he could play in Wednesday's opener against the New York Rangers.
"He's day-to-day right now," Laviolette said. "I don't think it's a long-term thing. So we'll just take it day by day."
Ovechkin was injured in the first period of Friday's preseason finale when his leg was caught awkwardly in a hit on Philadelphia Flyers forward Travis Konecny. Ovechkin skated off under his own power, but immediately left down the tunnel and did not return to the game.
Ovechkin did not practice on Sunday, but did watch from the bench for a few minutes. There was no brace on his leg or knee and he appeared to be walking normally without a limp.
Laviolette would not rule Ovechkin out for Wednesday's game saying only that it was "possible" he could return in time.
Ovechkin has been remarkably durable in his career, missing only 42 games in 16 seasons and only 24 due to injury. His teammates have seen this before and are hopeful he will be able to return quickly.
“I would not be surprised if he’s back for Game 1," Lars Eller said. "He always, for some reason he never seems to be out for long, even, you know, whatever he’s been dealing with. I know he really wants to. He does not like to miss games. He does not want to take the game off. He wants to play. So if there’s any chance he can, he’ll be out there and I hope he will be.”