Ovechkin missed a 2-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators at home Tuesday and a 2-1 loss at the New Jersey Devils on Friday. Prior to being hurt Ovechkin had scored three goals in four games and four in his past six; his return should provide an offensive boost that is sorely needed by a team that has scored six even-strength goals over a seven-game losing streak (0-5-2).
However, coach Adam Oates doesn't want his team looking to Ovechkin to single-handedly solve all of their scoring troubles.
"You can't have it that way," Oates said. "Obviously, the focus will be that he'll come and save- the-day type of thing because he's a scorer, which he is. We know that. But the team has to find other ways to score. …The team has to play like a team first."
Although Ovechkin is returning, Oates is without another key offensive player with center Mikhail Grabovski sitting out the game against the Canadiens. Grabovski got tangled up with Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador in front of the New Jersey net midway through the second period Friday and left the ice limping, putting very little weight on his left leg.