ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin has been selected to represent the Eastern Conference at the 2009 NHL All-Star Game, the league announced today. Ovechkin, who will attend the All-Star Weekend festivities Jan. 24-25 in Montreal, will be making his third NHL All-Star Game appearance.
Ovechkin, 23, shares the NHL lead in goals this season (27) and ranks second in points (53) in 39 games played. He also leads the league in shots (245) and is tied for fourth with five game-winning goals.
Ovechkin has led the Capitals to a 27-11-3 record (57 points), the best first half of a season in franchise history. Washington leads the Southeast Division and ranks second in the Eastern Conference.
Ovechkin appeared in the 2007 NHL All-Star Game in Dallas and the 2008 NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta, scoring goals in each game (one in 2007, two last year). He is the only Capital ever to have three goals in all-star games and trails only Peter Bondra (5), Rod Langway (4) and Mike Gartner (4) in appearances for the club. There was no all-star game in Ovechkin’s rookie season because it was an Olympic year.
In addition to the NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 25, Ovechkin will participate in the Honda/NHL Superskills Competition the night before. Participants in each event – which include Breakaway Challenge, Fastest Skater and Hardest Shot – will be announced Monday.
Ovechkin could be joined by his head coach, Bruce Boudreau, in Montreal. If the Capitals win one of their two games this weekend (Friday vs. Columbus, Saturday at Montreal), Boudreau would clinch a spot as the Eastern Conference’s assistant coach by virtue of his team having the second-best winning percentage in the conference on Jan. 10. In addition, first- or second-year Capitals players could be named to the NHL YoungStars Game presented by Upper Deck when those rosters are announced tomorrow.