Ovechkin out for tonight

Ovechkin out for tonight
February 22, 2012, 6:07 pm
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Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will miss his first game due to injury this season when the Caps visit the Ottawa Senators tonight (7 p.m., CSN).

According to Capitals coach Dale Hunter, Ovechkin suffered a lower body in Monday night's 5-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Ovechkin did not practice on Tuesday and came off the ice about eight minutes into Wednesday's practice.

The Caps went 1-1-1 while Ovechkin served a three-game suspension late last month.

Against the Senators tonight the Caps are expected to go with a top line of of Jason Chimera on the left side of center Brooks Laich and right wing Troy Brouwer.

Mathieu Perreault is expected to center a second line with wingers Matt Hendricks and Alex Semin, with a third line of Marcus Johansson between Mike Knuble and Joel Ward. Hunter is expected to use Jeff Halpern between AHL callup Keith Aucoin and Jay Beagle as his fourth line.

Ovechkin appeared to suffer the injury when he took a check along the boards midway through the third period of the Capitals loss in Carolina.

Ovechkin has played in 56 games for the Capitals this season, but has struggled lately. He recorded one shot on goal and posted a minus-2 on Monday and has been held without a point in three of the last four games and five of nine since returning from his three-game suspension.

Ovechkin leads the Capitals in goals (24) and points (45) but is on pace to finish with a career-low 62 points this season.

In his career against Ottawa, Ovechkin has recorded 34 points (18 goals, 16 assists) in 26 games. He has recorded at least one point in 20 of his 26 games against the Sens and has eight multiple-point games against them.