Washington Capitals star, Alexander Ovechkin, reportedly played through the better half of the playoffs with knee and hamstring injuries. The injuries were so severe that he took pain injections for it. Ovechkin will not need surgery for the injuries.
Not only did the injuries affect his play during the playoffs, but they’re also keeping him out of the IIHF World Championship. The Russian Hockey Federation confirmed this. It also implied that even ending out the playoffs was a challenge.
Alexander Ovechkin Played Through Lower-Body Injury in Playoffs
It’s not guaranteed, but Ovechkin says he suffered the knee injury after a low hit from Nazem Kadri in the first round; against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Nazem Kadri hip checked Ovechkin as the Capitals broke out of their zone. Kadri’s hip and left knee hit Ovechkin’s left knee square on. Ovechkin went flying over Kadri, and the Maple Leafs forward was handed a two minute penalty for tripping.
Ovechkin indicated that he hurt his hamstring druing the Capitals second round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, it is unclear exactly when the injury occured. The Capitals lost to the Penguins in seven games. At the beginning of Game 5, head coach Barry Trotz moved Ovechkin from the first line to the third line. This may have been an attempt to reduce his star winger’s minutes, while still getting some time at even strength and on the power play.
Overall, Ovechkin had five goals and eight points in 13 games during these playoffs. This brings him to 90 points in 97 career playoff games, though Ovechkin and this era’s Capitals have not been able to get past the second round of the playoffs.
Main Photo: WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 21: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals attempts to get up after being hit by Nazem Kadri #43 of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first period in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on April 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)