Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Capitals' Alex Ovechkin, three others out at least four games due to COVID-19

The Washington Capitals will be without superstar Alex Ovechkin and three others for at least four games because of the NHL's COVID-19 protocols. 

Per Tom Gulitti of the league's official website, Ovechkin, center Evgeny Kuznetsov, goaltender Ilya Samsonov and defenseman Dmitry Orlov will be out through at least the night of Jan. 28. 

"Right now, the players are in quarantine and at this point I believe it's four games and then under review, and so we'll go from there," coach Peter Laviolette told reporters. "There will probably be an announcement at some point. But I believe we're looking at that and we'll look at everything." 

The players were in contact with an infected individual, but Laviolette didn't say if any of the four have yet tested positive for COVID-19.

Washington hosts the Buffalo Sabres on Friday and Sunday and then welcomes the New York Islanders on Tuesday and next Thursday. 

On Wednesday, the NHL fined the Capitals $100,000 for player violations of the NHL's coronavirus-related protocols. Per Gulitti, the punishment stems from players interacting inside a hotel room without wearing proper face coverings or masks during last week's road trip. 

"I regret my choice to spend time together with my teammates in our hotel room and away from the locker room areas," Ovechkin said in a statement shared by Gulitti. "I will learn from this experience."

As of Thursday afternoon, none of Washington's upcoming games have been postponed. 

"Those are four big pieces for us and important pieces, so they'll be missed," Laviolette added. "It's a difficult thing. We totally understand why the rules are in place and there's no arguing with that. We want to be compliant. We made a mistake, and we need to do a better job."

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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