Ovechkin did not play Wednesday night in a critical 4-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators. He left the previous game, a 5-0 loss to Carolina, but later returned and the absence was deemed an equipment issue. Before the game Wednesday in Ottawa, Ovechkin told reporters he was not feeling well, but coach Dale Hunter said he had a lower-body injury.
The Capitals lost the three games of a four-game road trip and remain in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. Despite their struggles, they are just two points out of eighth place in the East and two behind the Florida Panthers for the top spot in the Southeast Division.
Carrera noted that Ovechkin twice tried to skate at full speed, but quickly pulled up and spent of the time on the ice skating at half-speed. The Capitals play Montreal at Verizon Center on Friday before a trip Saturday to Toronto. They are also still without top center Nicklas Backstrom, who has not skated in weeks because of a concussion.
Renaud P. Lavoie of RDS reported Wednesday that the Capitals have shopped Hamrlik for a potential trade. Hamrlik's agent, Petr Svoboda told Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times that neither he nor his client have asked for a trade, but Lavoie reports Hamrlik "very much would like to play elsewhere."
Hamrlik has two goals and 10 points for the Capitals this season. He is a plus-11 in 37 games with Dale Hunter as the coach, but he's also been on the ice for more goals against than for at even strength this season.
"You want him to be a defensive defenseman," Hunter told reporters. "He's giving up too many chances, so he's out of the lineup."
He signed a two-year, $7 million contract in the offseason. Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the Blues have been scouting Washington games with regularity of late, and Hamrlik could be a veteran defenseman they'd be interested in.
The Wings acquired defenseman Kyle Quincey from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday in a three-way trade. The Lightning, run by former Wings star Steve Yzerman, acquired Quincey from Colorado earlier in the day for forward Steve Downie, then shipped him to Detroit for the Wings' first-round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft and minor-league defenseman Sebastien Piche.
Quincey, 26, is expected to be in the lineup Thursday when the Wings take their NHL-record 23-game home winning streak into a matchup against the Vancouver Canucks.
"We like the addition of Quincey," general manager Ken Holland told the Detroit Free Press. "He's a guy who can play 20 minutes a night, he can play right defense, left defense, he can play in all situations. He can man a point on the second power-play unit. We believe this makes us deeper for the playoffs, and he's not a rental."
Quincey is returning to the team with which he began his NHL career. The Wings took him with the 132nd pick in the 2003 NHL Draft. He saw limited playing time and was lost on waivers to Los Angeles before the 2008-09 season The Kings traded him to Colorado in July 2010 as part of the package that sent Ryan Smyth to Edmonton.
The 6-foot-2, 202-pounder had five goals and 18 assists in 54 games with the Avs this season after missing most of last season with a shoulder injury.
The Wings have been looking for more toughness on the blue line. They signed veteran Mike Commodore last summer, but he hasn't been able to earn a regular berth. Rookie Jakub Kindl got off to a good start but has struggled during the past month.
It was the third trade in less than a week by the Lightning, who dealt center Dominic Moore to San Jose on Thursday and sent defenseman Pavel Kubina to Philadelphia.
Downie, 24, can become a restricted free agent this summer. He's in the final year of a two-year, $3.7 million deal and has 12 goals, 16 assists and 121 penalty minutes in 55 games this season.
"Our organization believes that Steve Downie will add grit and skill to our lineup offensively," Avalanche GM Greg Sherman said in a statement. "He plays the game with an edge and we look forward to seeing the immediate and future impact he can bring to our team."
The Lightning now have two first-round picks in 2012 along with a minimum of three selections in the second round.
Piche, 6-foot, 202 pounds, has played in 42 career AHL games with the Grand Rapids Griffins, recording five assists. This season he has played in 22 games, notching three assists. Piche signed with the Red Wings as a free agent on April 12, 2009.
O’Marra played seven games for the Oilers this season, and has one goal and seven points in 31 career NHL games. He was a first-round pick by the New York Islanders in the 2005 Entry Draft.
Rodney has spent the entire 2011-12 season with Syracuse in the American Hockey League. He has five goals and 20 points in 41 games for the Crunch this season. Rodney has one goal and 13 points in 33 career NHL games – all with the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are holding defenseman Pavel Kubina out of the lineup, and he’s been asked which teams he would be willing to accept a trade to, the team announced Thursday.
Kubina is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and he has a limited no-trade clause. General manager Steve Yzerman told reporters Thursday morning that a trade is not imminent, but Kubina will be scratched from the lineup for the time being.
A 34-year-old defenseman, Kubina has three goals and 11 points for the Lightning this season. He’s in the second of a two-year contract that carries a $3.8 million cap hit. Kubina has played parts of 14 seasons in the NHL and has 953 career games on his resume. He also won the Stanley Cup in 2004 with the Lightning.
Tampa Bay is currently in 13th place in the Eastern Conference and 10 points out of a spot in the top eight. The Lightning recently had a 6-0-1 stretch that offered a glimmer of hope, but they’ve lost four of five since then.
Yzerman told Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday that he was prepared to make moves for the future.
“We have to look at any opportunity that makes us a stronger organization moving forward based on where we stand today," Yzerman said to Cristodero.
“We're not going to just give our guys away. But if there is an opportunity that makes us a better organization, we're going to consider it.”
One of the biggest holes in the long-term future for the Lightning is the lack of a franchise goaltender. Dwayne Roloson was great last season but has struggled this campaign and is 42 years old, and there isn’t a top goaltending prospect in the system.
Yzerman told reporters Thursday not to expect a solution in the next 11 days though. He called the deadline a “time to replenish [organizational] depth, so prospects, draft choices are [the] priority,” according to Cristodero, and also said the goaltending quandary is “a likely summer project.”
NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, who notched his first shutout of the season in a victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday, was a noticeable absentee from practice on Wednesday morning at Prudential Center.
According to The Bergen Record (N.J.), Brodeur is still recovering from a twisted right ankle he suffered midway through the third period of the Devils 1-0 victory over the Rangers. Brodeur's injury occurred when Rangers captain Ryan Callahan landed on the ankle during an offensive rush up ice. It was incidental contact.
Nugent-Hopkins, who returned to action on Saturday after being out of the lineup with a non-related shoulder injury since Jan. 2, was hit by Toronto's Mike Brown and ultimately sent to the dressing room in the third period for precautionary reasons.
According to the Oilers, Nugent-Hopkins will be sidelined 7-10 days with a sprained shoulder.
"He's obviously a solid guy, but we were both going for the puck and just collided … landed shoulder on shoulder," Nugent-Hopkins said. "I could feel it as soon as I got hit. My shoulder kind of dropped and I could feel it.
"It's the same area, it's the same shoulder, but it's a new thing on top."
Nugent-Hopkins, who has 13 goals and 35 points in 40 games, is still considered a leading candidate for the Calder Trophy this season. He still leads all first-year players in assists (22) and points.
"It could be frustrating and disappointing, but [Monday] I wasn't too happy," Nugent-Hopkins said. "I just try and stay positive through it all and keep same attitude."
The decision to sit Nugent-Hopkins came Tuesday after doctors re-examined the team's No. 1 pick from the 2011 Draft.
With Nugent-Hopkins back on the shelf, Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini recalled left-winger Magnus Paajarvi from the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League. Paajarvi, 20, was assigned to Oklahoma City on Jan. 24 and had 10 points in 14 games with the Barons. In 33 games with the Oilers this season, he has 4 assists.
According to the Sabres website, Leopold lost an edge while coming up on Ruff's blindside and ended up taking him out. Ruff remained down on the ice for several minutes before skating off the ice for treatment.
Ruff didn't address the media Monday, but the Sabres released the following statement:
"Buffalo Sabres Head Coach Lindy Ruff suffered three broken ribs following a collision with Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold during the team's practice this morning at First Niagara Center. He is expected to be back tomorrow to resume his coaching responsibilities."
The Sabres are off until Wednesday, when they host the Boston Bruins.
Leopold did speak to reporters about the accident.
"I lost my breath. I was looking back and right when it happened and I kind of yelled, 'Are you all right? Are you all right?' And right away, 'No,' so that wasn't a good thing," he said. "I know Lindy's a tough guy, he's played a lot of games in the NHL and played through a lot of injuries. Your body ends up hurting more and more, I think, every day the older you get. That was one of those unexpected ones. Those ones are dangerous."
Meanwhile, according to the Edmonton Oilers' official Twitter feed, "Tom Renney is doing fine & receiving stitches after taking a puck to the head earlier in practice, according to Ralph Krueger."
Krueger is the Oilers' associate coach, but from the sound of things Renney will be perfectly fine to resume his head coaching duties Wednesday night when Edmonton is in Detroit.