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Stanley Cup Final

Ovechkin settles for being No. 3 in draft

By Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Ovechkin settles for being No. 3 in draft
 Alex Ovechkin thought he might be the first pick in Friday's All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco. Instead, he had to settle for being 3rd.
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Alex Ovechkin thought he had a pretty good chance to be the first pick of the 2011 All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco.

Instead, the Washington Capitals' superstar had to settle for being No. 3, taken by Team Staal after Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward and Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos were the first two picks.

Ovechkin put the blame on Carolina's Eric Staal taking his teammate with the first pick.

"My team was going to pick No. 1 and they were going to take a 'Cane because it's their hometown," Ovechkin said. "It has to be like that."

It's been a down year in terms of goals for Ovechkin, who has just 19 in 51 games. He hasn't scored fewer than 50 in the past three seasons and 46 goals in 2006-07 is his career-low.

Ovechkin said he really enjoyed the format: "It was cool. Not long. It just took an hour."

Ovechkin will play with teammate Mike Green and could find himself on a line with a pair of Canucks in center Ryan Kesler and winger Daniel Sedin.

"It's going to be fun," Ovechkin said. "We made some good selections."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4