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NHL Buzz: Ovechkin day to day with lower-body injury for Capitals

Bobrovsky out at least next 2 games for Panthers; Letang doesn't travel with Penguins to New Jersey @NHLdotcom

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Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin is day to day for the Capitals with a lower-body injury.

Ovechkin had two shots in 17:54 of ice time in the Capitals' 4-0 win at the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday but did not play in a 6-2 loss at the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.

"There's always things that are going on with players," coach Peter Laviolette said. "Alex is usually really durable, but this is something that he wasn't able to skate this morning and it took him out of the lineup tonight."

Ovechkin, who had played in all 48 games this season, has 52 points and is tied for sixth in the NHL with 30 goals.

The Capitals visit the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. -- Harvey Valentine


Florida Panthers

Sergei Bobrovsky will miss at least the next two games for the Florida Panthers.

The goalie left at 2:01 of the first period of a 6-2 win at the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday with a lower-body injury after he hit the post while attempting to make a save.

Alex Lyon started and made 29 saves in a 5-3 win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

"We were concerned when we took him out, because you never know, but it's way better than we thought," coach Paul Maurice said. "He's possible for the (next) weekend. We won't see him in the next [two games] we don't think, most likely."

The Panthers play two sets of back-to-backs next week. First they will travel to play the New York Rangers on Monday (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, MSG, BSFLX, ESPN+, SN NOW) and Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday before returning home to face the Los Angeles Kings on Friday and Boston Bruins on Saturday

Bobrovsky is 12-13-2 with a 3.24 goals-against average and .897 save percentage in 30 games (29 starts) this season. The 34-year-old had started three of the past four games and played in 18 of the past 22 after Florida placed goalie Spencer Knight on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury Jan. 10.

Knight was loaned to Charlotte of the American Hockey League on Friday with the hopes he can dress Monday. 

"'Spence' is going to play for Charlotte today to get a full game in, get 60 minutes," Maurice said. "He's been out a long time, and we needed to get some rubber on him. And if he feels good, he'll meet us in New York."

Florida will also be without Eric Staal, who was placed on injured reserve after entering NHL concussion protocol following a hit from Canadiens defenseman Mike Matheson at 18:20 of the first period on Thursday.

"Early returns were very good," Maurice said. "You never know with this stuff, but I would say he's [possible] for the (next) weekend as well." -- Jessi Pierce


Pittsburgh Penguins

Kris Letang did not travel with the Penguins for their 2-1 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils on Sunday.

The defenseman, who has missed 11 games with a lower-body injury, remains day to day and worked on a fourth defense pair with Ty Smith in practice on Saturday.

Letang returned to practice Tuesday after spending the previous 15 days in Montreal following the death of his father, Claude Fouquet. He left before a 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park in Boston on Jan. 2.

"I guess, in life, sometimes it goes like that," Letang said. "You don't really control everything. You have to live through it. Sometimes you're going to go through times like this. You have to rely on your family and your close ones to be there for you and support you."

The 35-year-old missed five games earlier this season after having a stroke, the second of his NHL career, on Nov. 28. Letang had four points (one goal, three assists) in eight games in his return from the stroke prior to the injury.

Letang leads Pittsburgh defensemen with 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in 29 games this season.

"I think he's getting better every day," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We have him on a game plan here that we're hopeful will get him back in a timely fashion."

The Penguins flew to Montreal following a 4-1 win at the Coyotes on Jan. 8 to attend Fouquet's wake the next day. They were previously scheduled to fly directly to Pittsburgh following that game.

"Honestly, it was an emotional time," Letang said. "I'm grateful for everything the team has done for me the last few weeks. It's good to be back with these guys." -- Wes Crosby

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