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NHL Buzz: Ovechkin out for Capitals against Islanders

Bergeron day to day for Bruins; Martinook, Mrazek not in lineup for Hurricanes

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Washington Capitals 

Alex Ovechkin did not play for the Capitals in a 6-3 win at the New York Islanders on Saturday.

The forward left late in the third period of a 1-0 shootout win against New York on Thursday. He had four shots on goal in 17:18 of ice time.

"I think with some injuries, you don't know what's going to go on, whether somebody's going to be available or not available and that's why I think people say 'day to day', because they're unsure," Washington coach Peter Laviolette said. "Will he be there for the next game? I'm not sure at this point. So we'll err on the side of caution at this point in the season. We're not going to risk anything as we head towards the playoffs, but hopefully he continues to improve."

Ovechkin leads the Capitals with 24 goals in 43 games and has scored 730 goals, one from tying Marcel Dionne for fifth in NHL history.

Ovechkin last missed a game because of an injury March 5, 2015 against the Minnesota Wild (lower body). Since then, he missed three games because he was suspended for skipping the NHL All-Star Game in 2016, 2019 and 2020. He also was a healthy scratch for one game in 2015-16 because he overslept for a practice and sat the final game of that season to rest for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Capitals were 3-0-1 while Ovechkin was in NHL COVID-19 protocol from Jan. 20-29.

"We all know what kind of player he is and what he brings to the team," center Nicklas Backstrom said. "But it's a challenge for other players to step and take responsibility when he's out of the lineup. We see that as a challenge as a group. That's something we talked about."

Washington is first in the eight-team MassMutual East Division, one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and three points ahead of the Islanders. The top four teams qualify for the playoffs. -- Tom Gulitti

Boston Bruins

Patrice Bergeron did not play for the Boston Bruins in a 6-4 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday because of a lower-body injury.

The center scored 41 points (18 goals, 23 assists) playing all 45 games this season.

"He'll be day to day until we hear differently," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said of the Bruins captain. "Obviously he's our No. 1 center, so we miss him in a lot of situations. But we're a pretty good team. We've got depth. In the past we've won games without him in the lineup. We're fortunate this year we haven't had to play without him. He's been healthy."

Bergeron was hit in the foot by a shot against the Sabres on Thursday, when he played 14:52 and had one assist. He played two shifts in the final 8:09 of the 5-1 win.

The Bruins (27-12-6) were fourth in the MassMutual East Division, three points behind the New York Islanders and six ahead of the New York Rangers. The top four teams qualify for the playoffs.

 

Carolina Hurricanes

Jordan Martinook did not play against the Florida Panthers on Saturday (BSFL, BSSO, NHL.TV).

The forward left in the second period of a 4-2 win against the Panthers on Thursday with an undisclosed injury after taking a hip check from defenseman Radko Gudas.

"He's not great, that's for sure," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "I can't tell you the extent of it because we don't know, but I'm hoping it's not a long-term injury."

Martinook scored four goals and 13 points in 43 games.

Petr Mrazek also did not play. The goalie was the scheduled starter Thursday but was scratched with a lower-body injury. Alex Nedeljkovic made 32 saves.

"He's nursing something," Brind'Amour said of Mrazek. "If we had to play him, he could go, but it's not really worth it."

Teuvo Teravainen, who has missed 23 games with a concussion, practiced Friday, but the forward was not expected to play.

"I hope so, but I don't think so," Brind'Amour said. "He looked really good today, though. He still doesn't feel quite right. I think we're getting closer. I certainly hope so."

Carolina was two points ahead of Florida for first in the Discover Central Division. The top four teams qualify for the playoffs. -- Kurt Dusterberg

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