ARLINGTON, Va. - Alex Ovechkin will miss at least one game while in Russia to spend time with his ailing grandfather.
The NHL's reigning MVP caught a flight home Monday morning and definitely will sit out the Washington Capitals' game against the visiting Nashville Predators on Tuesday night after appearing in 203 straight games. The Capitals were not sure when Ovechkin would return to the team.
"We know he won't be here tomorrow," Capitals spokesman Nate Ewell said Monday. "But we don't know beyond that."
Washington's next game after Tuesday is Saturday at the Buffalo Sabres.
"I'm sure we'll know more as the week goes on," coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Ovechkin, who led the league in goals and points last season, discussed the situation and his trip with general manager George McPhee on Sunday night.
The star winger hasn't scored a goal in the past six games and is tied for fifth on the Capitals with five points this season.
"He had to go and he wanted to be near (his grandfather), but if you know Alex, he doesn't want to leave his teammates," Boudreau said. "So that's always a struggle, but in the end, he knows what he needs to do - and that's family first."