No official update on Ovechkin injury after Toronto loss

Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin left Sunday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs with an upper-body injury in the third period and did not return. Ovechkin lost control of the puck on a breakaway and goalie Erik Kallgren extended his stick and Ovechkin tripped over it and slammed his shoulder hard into the boards.

Head coach Peter Laviolette did not have any updates following the game.

"I haven't talked to the trainer yet so we'll get an evaluation on him," Laviolette said.

Ovechkin was down on the ice for an extended period of time, only getting up when the play was blown dead. After initially holding his arm, he then extended and rotated his arm as he skated to the bench, voicing his displeasure at the non-call to the referees as he went before proceeding down the tunnel to the locker room.

While there was no official update from the team, T.J. Oshie said he spoke with Ovechkin after the game.

"I just talked to him and I think he'll be all right," Oshie said. "It's always scary seeing Big 8 go down and lay on the ice. He's a tough guy. But if there was anyone I would imagine wouldn't miss any more time than he needs to, it'd be 8."

Ovechkin's absence was noticeable in overtime when the power play unit looked out of sorts with a chance to win the game. Toronto was called for too many men on the ice and the Caps sent out Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov and John Carlson.


While there was plenty of talent among those four, without the main weapon on the ice the power play fell flat and could not take advantage of the opportunity.

"We're used to having two righties up top and then me on the back door, Oshie said. "... I think it changes the dynamic a little bit."

"Definitely there's an impact not having [Ovechkin] on the ice," Laviolette said. "That's where he's at his best when he can find time and space with the extra attacker."

The Caps would go on to lose Sunday's game 4-3 in a shootout.

More important than just missing out on a second point, however, will be the team's prospects for the playoffs.

Washington's regular-season finale is on Friday against the New York Rangers with the playoffs set to start Monday or Tuesday the following week. That does not leave much time for Ovechkin to recoup from any lingering effects of Sunday's upper-body injury.

Ovechkin was limited to 45 out of 56 games in 2020-21 due to an injury and only played two of the team's final nine games. He played in all five playoff games as Washington was dispatched in the first round by the Boston Bruins. Ovechkin scored two goals and two assists in that series.

All eyes will be on Ovechkin this week to see if he has avoided any serious injury.

"I've never met anyone tougher than that guy," Oshie said. "We all hope he's fine."