Ovechkin "got a little banged up" in Washington's 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday, coach Adam Oates said. He did not participate in pregame warmups after being deemed a "game-time decision" Tuesday morning.
It will be the third game that Ovechkin has missed due to injury this season; he sat out two games in early November with a right shoulder injury.
The Capitals will look to snap their season-high five-game winless streak (0-3-2) without their captain and the NHL's leading goal scorer. Ovechkin has scored three of the team's seven goals during the winless skid.
Washington is 13-8-2 without Ovechkin since he entered the League in 2005-06.
I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.
— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh