Caps left wing Alex Ovechkin is back in his native Russia where he is visiting his grandfather, who has taken ill. Ovechkin will miss Tuesday night's game with the Nashville Predators at Verizon Center and his status beyond that will be determined on a day-to-day basis.
In three-plus seasons with the Capitals, Ovechkin has missed just one game previously. That was on Jan. 30, 2006 against the Islanders in New York, about midway through his rookie season. Since then, Ovechkin had played in 203 consecutive NHL games.
Through the first eight games of the 2008-09 season, Ovechkin has two goals and three assists for five points. He is a plus-4 with 10 penalty minutes, and is averaging 24:31 in ice time per game.
No roster move will be required as the Caps are currently carrying two extra forwards. Center David Steckel and right wing Eric Fehr were both healthy scratches during the team's 6-5 overtime win in Dallas on Saturday night.
After Tuesday's home game against Nashville, the Caps are off for a few days. They will depart for Buffalo on Friday where they will take on the Sabres on Saturday. The Capitals then travel to Ottawa for a game against the Senators on Tuesday, Nov. 4. Washington returns to the District for a three-game homestand beginning on Nov. 6.