Alex Ovechkin wasn’t in the lineup for the Washington Capitals as they took on the San Jose Sharks on home ice Tuesday night, for what the team called “personal reasons."
Ovechkin was called a "game-time decision" by coach Barry Trotz. He did arrive at Verizon Center for the game, according to Comcast SportsNet’s Jill Sorenson, but didn’t take part in warm-ups for the Capitals. The team later announced that Ovechkin would be out of the lineup. There was no elaboration on his absence.
Ovechkin has missed only 12 regular-season games since 2010.
San Jose Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said that the Sharks won’t dramatically alter their game plan without Ovechkin on the other side of the ice. Via CSN:
“They’re a deep team,” he said. “Obviously, with him in you have to pay special attention to him. On the power play he’s key. But even if he’s not in we can’t take a deep breath and relax. That’s a very deep team offensively over there. I’m not hoping that he’s out, but (if he is) we still have to respect the fact they have a lot of other weapons over there.”
Rookie Stan Galiev made his season debut with the Capitals in Ovechkin’s place.
Ovechkin, last season's goal-scoring leader, had a goal and an assist in the Capitals' opening win against the New Jersey Devils.
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