Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin back in training, but still a decision for the opener against the New York Rangers

ARLINGTON, Virginia – Washington Capitals Star Alex Ovechkin was a full participant in training on Wednesday ahead of their season opener against the New York Rangers, but winger and coach Peter Laviolette said there was a decision to be made during the game.

Ovechkin, 36, skated cautiously in the team’s preseason final against the Philadelphia Flyers on October 8, following a collision with the front Travis Konecny. The Capitals said he had a lower body injury. Ovechkin participated in an optional skating on Tuesday.

“My little finger got injured,” Ovechkin joked after training. “It was just a little collision. Nothing serious. We’ll see how it goes.”

Laviolette said it was “great to see him there with full participation,” but that the team needs to check with medical staff to clear it.

In training, Ovechkin skated on a line with the cross Evgeny Kuznetsov and winger Tom wilson, which is the focal point of pre-game preparation against New York.

At the end of last season, Wilson was fined $ 5,000 for punching the back of the forward’s head with a gloved punch. Pavel Boutchnevich, who is now with the St. Louis Blues. Rangers forward Artemi Panarin jumped onto Wilson’s back in a scrum that followed, and Wilson responded by knocking Panarin down on the ice, causing an injury that kept Panarin out of Rangers’ last three games of the season.

Furious that there hadn’t been a tougher punishment for Wilson, the Rangers were fined $ 250,000 after the team demanded the dismissal of the head of the player safety department. Georges parros. In their last meeting of the season after the Panarin incident, the Rangers and Capitals accumulated 72 penalty minutes in the first 4 minutes, 14 seconds of their fight-filled game.

Rangers have responded to the offseason by acquiring a handful of physical players, like the defenseman Jarred Tinordi and forward Barclay goodrow, Sammy Blais and especially Ryan reaves of Vegas Golden Knights, one of the sole executives of the NHL and a longtime rival to Wilson.

“All summer it seemed like one thing after another. I don’t know what the real purpose behind this is, ”Wilson said, referring to the Rangers offseason. “All I can do is focus on our team. Having a big physical first night with the Rangers isn’t where we want to be this year. I want to score goals. I want to be a leader. I want to face more. responsibility and hopefully get our team to the playoffs. Obviously tonight there is a big spotlight on the game. It’s gonna be fun. “

In other Capitals news, Laviolette said the goalie Vitek Vanecek will get the start in the first game of the season against the goalkeeper Ilya Samsonov. “His camp, for me, was really good. He broke up a bit and won the opportunity,” said the coach.

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