Kuznetsov, Neal added to All-Star Game rosters

Thursday, 01.28.2016 / 10:12 AM NHL.com

Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nashville Predators forward James Neal were added Thursday to the rosters for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Kuznetsov replaces Capitals teammate Alex Ovechkin on the Metropolitan Division team.

Neal replaces Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews on the Central Division roster.

New York Islanders center John Tavares has been named captain of the Metropolitan Division team in place of Ovechkin.

Kuznetsov, 23, is fifth in the League with 49 points and is tied for first with a plus-24 rating. This will be his first NHL All-Star Game.

The Capitals announced Wednesday that Ovechkin would have to miss the game because of a lower-body injury.

"This was a hard decision but we talk about it, coaching staff, trainers, and we tried to battle through it. But it's stayed the same," Ovechkin said after Washington's 4-3 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers at Verizon Center on Wednesday. "I have to get ready for the rest of the year, get healthy, and I think we have a good chance to have success and I want to be a part of it. I don't want to miss important things."

Per League rules, for missing the All-Star Game Ovechkin will have to miss the Capitals' first game after the All-Star break, Feb. 2 against the Florida Panthers.

Toews missed the third period of the Blackhawks' game 5-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday because of an illness.

"Jonathan will not participate in the 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend in Nashville," Blackhawks head team physician Michael Terry said Thursday. "He was pulled from Tuesday night's third period because of an illness and remains symptomatic today. At this time, rest over the break is most important for him to properly recover and be fully healthy heading into the rest of the regular season."

Toews will miss the Blackhawks' first game after the break, Feb. 2 against the Colorado Avalanche.

Neal, 28, has 18 goals and 30 points in 50 games. This will be his second NHL All-Star Game; he played in the 2012 game while a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Back to top