Capitals' Alex Ovechkin Will Play Game 1 vs the Panthers

The Hockey News’ Erin Brown reports that Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said Alex Ovechkin would play Tuesday against the Florida Panthers.

Ovechkin missed the team’s final three regular-season games with an upper-body injury. He last played on April 24 in a 4-3 shootout loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Ovi led Washington in points this season with 50 goals and 40 assists. He also became just the third player in NHL history to record nine seasons of 50 or more goals, joining Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy. The Great Eight’s 50 goals were also good for fourth overall.

The Capitals and Panthers met three times in the regular season, with Florida outscoring Washington 13 goals to 12. In those three games, Ovechkin had four goals and two assists. In 141 playoff games, Ovechkin has scored 71 goals with 64 assists. There is no overstating how significant his return is for Washington.

Over at FanDuel Sportsbook, the Washington Capitals are +205 against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Florida Panthers for Game 1.