Head coach Peter Laviolette said after the Washington Capitals’ optional practice on Friday that captain Alex Ovechkin, who has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury, and defenseman John Carlson, who missed Thursday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins with a lower-body injury, both remain day-to-day.
It is unknown whether either or both of them will be available for Saturday’s rematch against the Penguins at Capital One Arena (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington locally or NHL Network nationally).
Ovechkin, who participated in Friday’s optional practice for 15 minutes, sustained his injury in the final moments of regulation during the Capitals’ 1-0 shootout win over the New York Islanders on April 22. He did not play in overtime or the shootout.
Forward Daniel Sprong has scored four goals in three games while playing in Ovechkin’s spot on the top line.
Carlson left the third period of Tuesday’s 1-0 win over the Islanders. Defenseman Justin Schultz played in his spot on Thursday.
Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters that forward Evan Rodrigues is day-to-day with a lower-body injury sustained in Thursday’s game and center Evgeni Malkin (who has not played since March 16 with a lower-body injury) and forward Brandon Tanev (who has not played since April 3 due to a lower-body injury) skated on Friday. Their status has not changed.
The Capitals and Penguins enter Saturday’s game tied for first in the East Division with 69 points, though the Capitals have a game in hand.
By Harrison Brown