ARLINGTON, Va. - Alex Ovechkin was given Wednesday off, an excused absence from practice that Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said had nothing to do with the "stinger" the league's reigning MVP got from a shoulder-first crash into the boards.
"He's fine," Boudreau said. "I wanted to give him today off to rest. He's probably a little stiff, I would think, but, I mean, he's fine. And I asked him how his shoulder was. He says he's OK, no problem."
During Tuesday night's 3-2 loss at Boston, Ovechkin - who leads the NHL with 31 goals - hit the boards with his head and right shoulder, then remained motionless on the ice for about 15 seconds before rolling over and rubbing his face with his glove. Although he left the ice a few minutes later, he was doubled over and flexing his right arm.
He sat on the bench for a few minutes before walking off through the tunnel and slamming his gloves and helmet to the ground. But he returned for the start of the third period.