Washington Capitals coach Peter Laviolette told reporters Monday that star forward and captain Alex Ovechkin would play in Tuesday's regular-season finale against the Boston Bruins if he was cleared from his lower-body injury. The injury has caused him to miss seven of the past eight games and limited him to just 39 seconds of ice time versus the New York Rangers on May 3.
Per Tom Gulitti of the NHL's website, Ovechkin will be a game-time decision Tuesday, but Laviolette suggested he wants the one-time Stanley Cup champion to see some action ahead of Saturday's playoff opener against Boston.
"For a player that hasn't gotten it, hasn't been out there, it's important for them to get some game time," Laviolette explained. "Oftentimes, the guys that are really good with the puck or have a skillset -- his is handling the puck, shooting the puck -- I think the game reps are really important. But again, it can't be at the expense of a player that's not at 100%. So that's kind of where we're at today. We're evaluating him as he gets off the ice, evaluating him today. But we're not going to hold back a player that's 100%."
Ovechkin had no restrictions in practice Monday and participated in Tuesday's optional morning skate. He leads the Capitals with 24 goals in 44 games this season.
Heading into Tuesday evening, BetOnline.ag listed the Capitals at +1200 to win the Stanley Cup Final.