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Svechnikov Hopes to Play in Game 6

Svechnikov wore non-contact jersey, full cage at morning skate in Washington

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

WASHINGTON - Carolina Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov sported a yellow, non-contact jersey and a full-face cage at the team's morning skate on Saturday.

He's not quite ready to rejoin the lineup, but he's got his hopes set on a Game 6 return in Raleigh.

"I feel pretty good," he said.

"He's come along really well," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said.

Svechnikov remains in the concussion protocol after being injured in a fight with Alexander Ovechkin in Game 3.

Now, about that fight. A lot was said and speculated afterward, and Svechnikov got to tell his side of the story on Saturday.

Video: Andrei Svechnikov: "I'm not a superhero"

"It was back and forth all series and then we just fight," he said. "It sometimes happens in hockey."

Who asked who?

"[Ovechkin] did ask me first for a fight," Svechnikov said. "I'm not a superhero asking first for a fight."

Svechnikov agreed to drop the gloves.

"I just want to stand up for myself," he said.

Ovechkin caught Svechnikov with a right shot square in the chin, and the dazed Canes' rookie had to be helped off the ice. The two countrymen had a brief conversation after the game.

"He called me right after the game. I talked with him a little bit," Svechnikov said. "I said sometimes that happens. You never know."

Svechnikov, who scored two goals for the Hurricanes in a Game 1 loss in Washington, has been sidelined since Monday. By all accounts, though, he's feeling good, the situation perhaps looking much worse than it turned out to be, thankfully.

His on- and off-ice work has been ramping up, and though he won't play in Saturday's Game 5, a return on Monday in front of the home crowd in Game 6 isn't out of the question.

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