John Carlson, Alex Ovechkin Participate At Capitals’ Morning Skate, Uncertain For Saturday’s Game vs. Penguins

Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette told the media that “we’ve got decisions to make” when asked about the status of 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 due to a lower-body injury, for Saturday’s rematch against the Penguins (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington locally, NHL Network nationally). Both participated in the Capitals’ morning skate but Ovechkin skated as the extra forward in line rushes. The defense did not have line rushes.

Laviolette said that forward Tom Wilson will serve as an alternate captain against the Penguins, indicating that one or both player(s) will be unavailable. Neither Ovechkin nor Carlson skated with the top power-play unit.

He added that goaltender Ilya Samsonov will start on Saturday after Vitek Vanecek started each of the past two games.

Forward Daniel Sprong has scored four goals in three games while playing in Ovechkin’s spot on the top line.

Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, who has not played since March 16 due to a lower-body injury, fully participated in the team’s morning skate but forward Brandon Tanev, who has not played since April 3 due to a lower-body injury, wore a no-contact jersey. They will both be game-time decisions. Forward Evan Rodrigues, who was hit by a shot on Thursday, is out day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

Goaltender Tristan Jarry will start for the Penguins.

Ovechkin 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. Carlson left the third period of Tuesday’s 1-0 win over the Islanders.

The Capitals and Penguins enter Saturday’s game tied for first place in the East Division with 69 points, though the Capitals have a game in hand and have won one more regulation game (26) than the Penguins (25).

By Harrison Brown


About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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1 Response to John Carlson, Alex Ovechkin Participate At Capitals’ Morning Skate, Uncertain For Saturday’s Game vs. Penguins

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    A positive sign to see Carlson and Ovi on ice. But sounding like neither will play tonight. Ovi as the “extra”

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