Alex Ovechkin lapping Sidney Crosby for Metropolitan captain in NHL All-Star voting

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Ovechkin out to big lead for Metro captain in All-Star voting originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Alex Ovechkin is off to his best start in years, and fans are taking notice.

On Monday, the NHL released its first update on the 2022 NHL All-Star Fan Vote. Ovechkin came in with 29% of the vote among Metropolitan Division players, more than doubling the second-place Sidney Crosby (13.4%) for the right to be named captain of the Metro squad. Only Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (30%) has pulled in a greater share thus far.

NHL All-Star Weekend consists of a three-game, single-elimination tournament that pits the four divisions against each other. The format since 2016, fans vote on the captains before NHL Hockey Operations selects the other 40 players. Teams play three-on-three hockey for one 20-minute period with shootouts if necessary.

Ovechkin was voted the Metro captain for each of the last three All-Star Games, but he opted not to participate in 2019 and 2020. After no All-Star festivities were held in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ovechkin has decided to participate this year should he be selected.

So far, the fan vote suggests he has nothing to worry about. After Crosby, the top six of the Metro vote-getters are rounded out by Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho (6.8%) and New York Rangers skaters Adam Fox (5.5%), Artemi Panarin (5.1%) and Chris Kreider (3.8%).

Through his first 31 games this season, Ovechkin ranks second in the NHL with 22 goals and third in assists at 25. His 47 points are third behind only McDavid and teammate Leon Draisaitl, both of whom have 49. Sixteen of Ovechkin’s goals have come at even strength, which ties him with Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor for the most in the league.

Voting for the All-Star Game runs through 11:59 p.m. ET on Jan. 8. Fans are permitted to cast one vote for a player from each division with a maximum of 10 ballots submitted every 24 hours. Those looking to cast their vote can find the ballot here.