Ovechkin, three other Capitals likely out four games due to COVID-19 protocols

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Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said he expects Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, and Ilya Samsonov to miss four games after being placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol-related absences list.

On Wednesday, the Capitals were the first team to be fined $100,000 for “player violations” after “social interactions among team members who were in close contact and who were not wearing face coverings.”

Laviolette said that all four players will be in quarantine and likely miss the Capitals’ games against the Sabres and Islanders. According to the Washington Post, Samsonov tested positive and immediately went into isolation.

“We totally understand why the rules are in place and there’s no arguing with that,” Laviolette said. “We want to be compliant. We made a mistake and we need to do a better job.”

Meanwhile, Ovechkin wife, Nastya, criticized the league protocols on Instagram:

Ovechkin said in a statement Wednesday, “I regret my choice to spend time together with my teammates in our hotel room and away from the locker room areas. I will learn from this experience.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.