Ovechkin, Orlov are game-time decisions after returning from COVID protocol list

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J.J. Regan
·3 min read
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Ovechkin, Orlov are game-time decisions after returning from protocol list originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Alex Ovechkin and Dmitry Orlov both came off the NHL's COVID-19 protocol-related absence list on Saturday and are considered game-time decisions for Saturday's game against the Boston Bruins (7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington).

Both players participated in Saturday's morning skate, but only Ovechkin was in the line rushes which are typically a preview of the lines for the game, skating on the second line with T.J. Oshie at center and Richard Panik at right wing. Ovechkin also practiced on the power play.

"We're going to talk about that and make a decision today with regard to Alex," Laviolette said.

Orlov skated on an extra pair with Martin Fehervary suggesting he likely will not play.

Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov both remain on the COVID protocol list and were not available to skate.

In addition, neither Lars Eller nor Justin Schultz will play and both are considered day-to-day.

Eller was injured in Tuesday's game when he was hit from behind into the boards by New York Islanders forward Leo Komarov. He missed Thursday's game as well with an upper-body injury. He was on the ice Saturday in a non-contact jersey prior to the morning skate, but left early.

"It's good to get Lars back out on the ice," Laviolette said. "I mean, you see that he wasn't really in the mix. I think he's working his way back to try to get to a position where he can help us."

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Schultz was not on the ice. He was struck by a puck in the third period of Thursday's game.

An additional surprise was to see the 43-year-old Zdeno Chara moved up to the top pair alongside John Carlson for Saturday's game against Chara's former team. Chara had been skating with Schultz the last few games and Nick Jensen prior to that. Jensen is back in the lineup with Schultz out, but Chara moved up to the top pair rather than back down to the third to play with Jensen.

"The way we're looking at it right now is we have good depth on defense, we're going to try to spread the minutes around and move the minutes around," Laviolette said. "We try to pair players with strengths maybe of other players ... so when we look at the pairings, we're trying to compliment each player out on the ice. The specialty minutes are what's going to drive the minutes and differentiate the minutes, but the even-strength minutes, I would think would be close to being spread around equally."

Watch the Capitals take on the Bruins Saturday, starting with Capitals Pregame Live at 6PM on NBC Sports Washington.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Pittsburgh
-106-1.5O 6.5
Washington
-112+1.5U 6.5