Ovechkin, who has 35 goals on the season, scored and played to the end of Sunday's 4-1 loss at the New York Rangers, but sat out Tuesday's morning skate.
"He got a little banged up against the Rangers," Washington coach Adam Oates said on Tuesday morning. "He knows his body. He's been hurt before. He knows whether or not he can go."
The absence of Ovechkin, last year's Hart Trophy winner, comes at a difficult time for the Capitals who have lost five straight.
This will be the third game Ovechkin has missed this season. Washington won the previous two, both in November. The Capitals have a 13-8-2 record in games missed by Ovechkin in his career.
During its five-game skid, Washington has just seven goals, three by Ovechkin.