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Round 1

Alex Ovechkin will play for Capitals against Maple Leafs in Game 6

Washington forward expected to be ready Sunday despite possible leg injury

by Katie Brown / Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Alex Ovechkin will be in the lineup when the Washington Capitals try to clinch their Eastern Conference First Round series in Game 6 against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, CSN-DC).

Ovechkin had trouble getting up late in the first period of Game 5 after a hit to his left leg by Toronto forward Nazem Kadri. Ovechkin left the game but returned for the second period and played 19:29 in Washington's 2-1 overtime victory that gave the Capitals a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.

"He's fine," Washington coach Barry Trotz said Saturday. "Expect him to be ready to go."

Ovechkin has never missed a Stanley Cup Playoff game during his NHL career.

Video: TOR@WSH, Gm5: Ovechkin leaves with injury, returns

Defenseman Karl Alzner remains day to day with an upper-body injury that has kept him out of the lineup for the past three games. Alzner took part in the morning skate Friday but did not participate in rushes and sat out of a few drills.

"He's improving," Trotz said.

Trotz said he would consider using seven defensemen when Alzner is ready to return. Trotz has been limiting ice time for some players during the past two games, including forwards Brett Connolly and Tom Wilson.

Connolly played 6:12 in Game 5, less than any skater on either team, and 4:26 in Game 4. He could be scratched if Trotz wants to go with seven defensemen when Alzner returns.

Wilson took four penalties in Game 5 and didn't get another shift after the fourth one, an offensive-zone high-sticking call at 7:36 of the third period. Trotz explained afterward that he benched Wilson because "you cannot take four penalties in a playoff game."

He's confident that Wilson got the message.

"One thing that we do is we communicate with our coaches and myself and Tom, we have a good relationship," Trotz said. "We'll tighten Tom up and get him in the right frame of mind and he'll be good to go tomorrow."

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