Alex Ovechkin Out, Braden Holtby to Start Against Flyers - NBC4 Washington
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Alex Ovechkin Out, Braden Holtby to Start Against Flyers



    The Washington Capitals arrived in Philadelphia Thursday ahead of their game against the Flyers without their captain.

    Alex Ovechkin will not play Friday after suffering an upper-body injury during the first period of Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

    Coach Adam Oates confirmed Thursday that Ovechkin sustained what looks to be a shoulder injury while being pulled down en route to the net by Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler just 79 seconds into Monday's contest. Ovechkin, who was awarded a penalty shot on the play in question, seemed to favor his right arm after skating away from the collision with Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo, which you can watch below.

    Following Friday's morning skate, Oates had no update on Ovechkin's status, though he did not rule out that he could return Saturday against the Florida Panthers.

    Ovechkin's value to the Capitals is certainly unquantifiable, but when looking at the numbers, it is evident just how much he contributes to their success.

    He has accounted for nearly a third of Washington's goals this season (10 of 32) and is averaging 6.25 shots per game. Meanwhile, Friday's projected top six has scored eight goals and averages 7.92 per game combined, respectively. 

    Speaking of the projected lineup, here is how it will likely shake down:

    Martin Erat - Nicklas Backstrom - Eric Fehr

    Brooks Laich - Marcus Johansson - Troy Brouwer

    Jason Chimera - Mikhail Grabovski - Joel Ward

    Aaron Volpatti - Michael Latta - Tom Wilson

    Karl Alzner - John Carlson

    Nate Schmidt - Mike Green

    Alexander Urbom - Steve Oleksy

    Braden Holtby will start in goal. Steve Mason will oppose him for Philadelphia.

    -- Defenseman Dmitry Orlov, recalled by Washington Wednesday, will be a healthy scratch against the Flyers. When asked if calling Orlov up from AHL Hershey only to have him sit out of Friday's game could send the wrong message, Oates dismissed the notion.

    "I'm not really concerned about that because he's been in the minors. He hasn't been here," Oates said. "Just because you get called up doesn't mean you play. You've got to earn your spot. He's going to get his chance, no question, and when he does, hopefully he plays good."

    After appearing in 60 games for Washington in 2011-12, the 22-year-old played in only five last season as multiple concussions cost him most of the season. In the final year of his entry-level contract, the all-around Orlov will need to improve his play in the defensive end in order to earn a steady NHL role. 

    "I see the passing, I see the shot, I see the offensive reads. That’s NHL caliber," Oates said earlier this week. "He’s got a big body and he has to play his corner of the ice. That’s what he’s got to improve on, and if he does, he’s an NHL player.”

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