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Alex Ovechkin confirms his postseason injuries and describes the toll they took

Alex Ovechkin confirms his postseason injuries and describes the toll they took

Alex Ovechkin confirmed on Friday that he played through knee and hamstring injuries during the playoffs.

The Caps’ captain said neither injury involved any tears. He also said they will not require surgery. He did, however, acknowledge that he occasionally needed pain-numbing injections in order to play.

The knee injury occurred in Game 5 of the Toronto series when he was hit by Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri. Ovechkin stayed on the ice for several moments after the hit and briefly exited the contest before returning.

As for the hamstring injury, it occurred late in Game 3 of the Pittsburgh series.

The knee “was not a big injury but the hamstring I felt,” Ovechkin said. “It’s the first time I had this injury. I just fell on the board and it not feel good.”

MORE CAPITALS: EVERY RELEVANT QUOTE FROM BREAKDOWN DAY

Asked how badly the injuries affected his play, Ovechkin said: “You don’t want any sorts of injuries. Of course, you don’t feel 100-percent. You don’t feel strength in your leg. But you play through that. Some players play with broken hand, broken leg. Because it’s the playoffs. You have to sacrifice your body to get success, get the result.”

As for the injections, Ovechkin said he had “a couple.”

“Sometimes I feel I need it,” he said, “sometimes I feel I can play without out it.”

Ovechkin finished the postseason with five goals and three assists in 13 games. 

After the hamstring injury, however, the 31-year-old had a single goal and no assists in Games 4-7 against the Penguins. 

Because of the injuries, Ovechkin said he called Oleg Znarok, Team Russia’s head coach, to tell him that he could not participate in the ongoing world championships. 

RELATED: TIME TO BLOW IT UP?

“I talked to him and said, ‘I’m not going to be able to help the team,'” Ovechkin said. “I wish him luck. I’m going to cheer for him. But it’s time [for] recovery. It’s time take a deep breath, take some time off and get back to work.” 

Ovechkin made his comments during the Capitals’ Breakdown Day in Arlington, Va.

“Every loss is tough. Obviously, disappointment for the team because I think we have an unbelievable group of guys who work hard to get [to] this level,” he said. 

“The fan base was unbelievable. They support us, give us the energy when we need it. But we don’t get the result.”

He added: “We can’t say, ‘Okay, this guy played bad or that guy played bad, this guy can be much better.’ We all together. We team. We lose as a team and we win as a team.”

Asked to assess his personal performance in the postseason, Ovechkin said: “We lost. So, obviously, you can’t say I played great.” 

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Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

In what is perhaps the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final pairing in recent memory, the Washington Capitals and the Las Vegas Golden Knights are going to make history this year.

Either it is going to be the first expansion team to win a title in their first season, or it will be a team looking to end a 27-year title drought for one of the biggest cities in the United States.

But what it will not be is the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup.

Going even farther back than the Capitals last Stanley Cup appearance (1998), the Georgetown Hoyas and UNLV Rebels met in the 1991 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sin City took the first, and up until now, the only postseason bout between these two cities. The Larry Johnson-led University of Las Vegas squad powered right past the Hoyas in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

[D.C. sports and Second Rounds, I know right?]

Coming fresh off the NCAA title in 1990, UNLV waltzed right to the Final Four before meeting their demise against Duke. It also ended up being the last game for Dikembe Mutombo in a Georgetown uniform.

While in all likely-hood this will not be the final game/ series for Alex Ovechkin rocking the red, it may be his last and only chance for him to play this far into a postseason.

In the past two seasons, Vegas has gone from zero professional teams to having a Stanley Cup contender, a WNBA franchise, and lined up to take over the Oakland Raiders in 2020. 

Now time for the Golden Knights' Cinderella story to come up a little bit short. 

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Capitals listed as underdogs in their first Stanley Cup since 1998

Capitals listed as underdogs in their first Stanley Cup since 1998

The odds have never gone the way of the Washington Capitals.

After years of being the common pick to finally break through and win the Stanley Cup, this was most definitely not the year.

Yet, here we are with the Capitals as one of the final two teams standing.

For their upcoming Stanley Cup Final, the Caps are the underdogs against the Las Vegas Golden Knights.  The opening line from OddsShark has the Golden Knights as -135 money line favorites to win the Stanley Cup. The Capitals were listed as +115 underdogs.

Vegas (the betting entity, not the team) has not exactly been the most reliable this year though. After all, the Golden Knights were 100/1 odds to win the whole thing. Now they are four games away.

In their past two series, Washington was not the favorites. The Capitals have not been favorites since the First Round against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

For years in the Alex Ovechkin era, they have been the favorites to not only go on to play for the Stanley Cup but winning it.

In 2018 they started the season tied for the fifth best odds to win the Cup (14/1), one of their lowest opening marks in the past decade. For the full perspective, Washington was tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs and behind the Dallas Stars at the start of the season.

Without question this underdog role has fit them quite well, they shouldn’t want anything to change heading into the biggest postseason series in 20 years for Washington D.C.

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