Coach Bruce Boudreau said Monday that Ovechkin has been dealing with a nagging ailment for several months.
With the regular season winding down, Boudreau said the team wants its star player to take the time off so he's healthy for the playoffs.
Ovechkin will miss Tuesday's game at Philadelphia as well as road games at Ottawa and Montreal on Friday and Saturday.
Ovechkin has played in all 73 games for the Capitals this season. He has 29 goals and 77 assists, on pace for his lowest point total since he entered the NHL in 2005.