Ovechkin returns to practice, hopes to play Saturday vs. Isles
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin returns to practice, hopes to play Saturday vs. Islanders

It appears Washington Capitals fans can breathe sighs of relief heading into the weekend. 

According to Samantha Pell of the Washington Post, Washington superstar captain Alex Ovechkin returned to practice Friday after he missed Thursday's session due to an unspecified upper-body injury. Ovechkin noted following Friday's practice that he hopes to play in Saturday's game at the New York Islanders. 

"You don’t want to get hurt; you don’t want to feel any pain in your body so obviously … it’s kind of sad, but nothing you can do, right?" Ovechkin said about his latest physical setback. 

Per ESPN stats, Ovechkin begins Friday's NHL action third in the league with 52 points and second with 24 goals on the season. 

"Obviously most important thing, I have to get healthy and we’ll see," Ovechkin added about potentially playing in the NHL All-Star Game next month after he was named captain of the Metropolitan Division team. 

He hasn't yet missed a contest during the 2021-22 campaign. 

The Capitals understandably care more about Ovechkin's status for the second half of the season than about upcoming All-Star festivities, as they're in the middle of a four-game losing streak that saw them fall to 20-8-9. They're third in the Metropolitan Division standings, three points behind the first-place New York Rangers. 

"I thought he looked good. He made it through everything," Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said of Ovechkin, as Harvey Valentine noted for the league's website. "We'll see how he feels tomorrow. It's his body and he's the one who's dealing with it so, he made it through today. That's a good thing. He looked good."

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