Alex Ovechkin expected to play Thursday against Devils, Lars Eller still out

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J.J. Regan
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Ovechkin expected to play Thursday against Devils, Eller still out originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

As the Capitals return to action Thursday after four days in between games, Alex Ovechkin is expected to play against the New Jersey Devils (7 p.m., NBC Sports Washington Plus), according to head coach Peter Laviolette.

Ovechkin missed Tuesday's practice for maintenance, but practiced Wednesday and participated in Thursday's optional morning skate.

"I think he's good to go," Laviolette said.

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Lars Eller will not play making this the fifth straight game he has missed due to a lower-body injury. He is considered day-to-day, but Laviolette would not comment on his status for Friday's game in the second leg of the back-to-back against New Jersey.

With Tom Wilson back from suspension, the absence of Eller will not require the team to go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, but there is a question as to who will play center on the third line. Typically, T.J. Oshie has filled that role, but Laviolette did not commit to him playing center the entire game.

"I'm not sure about that," Laviolette said. "We'll manage. I'm sure you'll see [Oshie] at some shifts at center tonight."