Alex Ovechkin has cleared COVID-19 protocol and could be back in the Capitals’ lineup Tuesday against Columbus after missing NHL All-Star Weekend following a positive test.
According to head coach Peter Laviolette, Ovechkin, who was asymptomatic, “should be good to go.”
Ovechkin popped the positive test last Wednesday, forcing him to miss the Capitals’ game against the Oilers. The Metropolitan Division captain also had to sit out this past weekend’s All-Star festivities where his division ended up winning the $1 million prize.
“I have five days off. I’m rested. I feel good,” said Ovechkin following the morning skate. “So obviously, right now, in this month we don’t have lots of games. We’re going to have lots of days off. So it’s time to work for your conditioning, work in the gym, get more power for your body and get ready for the rest of the season.”
[NHL Midseason Awards: Alex Ovechkin on top of PHT Hart Trophy voting]
While Ovechkin likely returns Tuesday, he will have to miss Washington’s Thursday game in Montreal due to his recent positive COVID-19 test. The province of Quebec requires a 10-day isolation period for those who test positive.
As Ovechkin resumes his season, he sits seven goals behind Jaromir Jagr (766) on the NHL’s all-time list. That one seems doable this season, while catching Gordie Howe (801) and Wayne Gretzky (894) will need more time.