Alex Ovechkin returns to Capitals following death of father Anderson makes 53 saves, Skinner powers Sabres past Panthers NHL-leading Bruins acquire Orlov, Hathaway from Capitals Predators’ Ryan Johansen out estimated 12 weeks after surgery Maple Leafs pin hopes on Ryan O’Reilly to help end playoff frustrations

ARLINGTON, Virginia – Alexey Ovechkin returned to the Washington Capitals and wants to play hockey again while he and his family still mourn the death of their father Mikhail.

Ovechkin missed four games to fly to Moscow. After landing, he traveled directly from the airport to the team’s training facility to take part in a practice session with an eye on getting back in the game.

“Obviously it’s been a tough week mentally and physically,” Ovechkin said after skating for about 45 minutes to regain his fitness. “This was probably the most difficult situation I have been in in my entire NHL career. But that’s life, and we’re moving on.”

Ovechkin thanked the Capitals for a moment of silence dedicated to Mikhail before the game last week and for the support shown by members of the organization and fans. He said he had the opportunity to speak to his father via video link before his death at age 71 last week, and he expects his mother and brother to visit him in the US soon.

“We’re trying to do our best at this difficult time,” Ovechkin said.

At a difficult moment, Ovechkin really wanted to return to the ice. After the 37-year-old captain skated just once in his absence, the 37-year-old captain said this season has been like training camp.

But there was no time to lose. The Capitals went 4-0 during Ovechkin’s absence and lost five games in a row for the first time in nine years.

“I just want to go back right now, change my mind,” Ovechkin said. “We’re struggling right now, so I just want to do my best to energize, bring something to the team.”

Having lost 20-8 during the franchise’s longest run since 2014 – the last time the Capitals missed the playoffs – they’ll happily take advantage of the boost that comes with Ovechkin’s return.

“He’s our top scorer” – Coach Peter Laviolette said. “He helps in many different areas: offense, powerplay, leadership, size, fitness, presence, so there are a lot of things that Alex brings to the game. I’m glad he was able to come home and be with his family, and we’re certainly happy to have him back.”

Tears welled up in Ovechkin’s eyes as he talked about how his father got him into the sport, was with him on his way to second place in the NHL scoring list, and spent a Stanley Cup day together in the summer of 2018 after he and Washington won him after years of disappointment.

“He gives me everything: all his health, all his time,” Ovechkin said. “He traveled all over the world with me and (was) at every training session when he had the opportunity.”

Mikhail Ovechkin was familiar in training for many years until his health forced him to return to Russia. Long time teammate Niklas Backstrom and other Capitals players remembered Ovechkin’s father for his smile and support on the rink, even though his English was limited.

“He had a great sense of humor,” Ovechkin said. “Even when he didn’t understand people, he always tried to ask something. But, yes, people who know him will miss his smile. They will miss his energy.”

SUNRISE, Florida – Jeff Skinner scored twice and Craig Anderson made 53 saves against his former team to lead the Buffalo Sabers to a 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Friday night.

Anderson, 41, spent three seasons with the Panthers (2006-09) and still lives a few miles north of their arena. He helped Buffalo to 64 points and a three-way tie for an Eastern Conference playoff berth with Detroit and Florida.

The Sabers have not made the Stanley Cup playoffs since 2011, the longest such drought in the NHL.

Buffalo also scored a powerplay goal Alex clothAnd Teige Thompson there were three transmissions.

Carter Verhage scored his 31st goal of the season for the Panthers, who were playing without their top two centers in Alexander Barkov And Sam Bennett due to injuries. Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves in the loss.

Buffalo’s overtime win over Tampa Bay on Thursday night took the lead at 3:51 of the second period when Skinner was alone at the right end of the net and scored on a Thompson pass.

The Sabers made it 2-0 on Touch’s goal, which came two minutes after Buffalo pulled the goal off the board due to video review showing Touch was offside.

Florida finally beat Anderson at 8:24 of the third period when Verhaeghe crossed the ice from Anthony DuClair and fired from the right circle.

Approximately two minutes later, Skinner got his second of the night and 24th of the season to once again give his team a breather with a sharp angled shot from the goal line to beat Bobrovsky.

NOTES: For the first time this season, DuClair was on the Panthers’ roster. He has been absent since he underwent Achilles tendon surgery in July. . After the departure of Barkov and Bennett, Florida recalled Grigory Denisenko and Zach Dalpe of the AHL team in Charlotte. On Wednesday, Denisenko was sent to Charlotte to help Duclair make room in the cap. . Florida goaltender Spencer Knight will be out of the team for an indefinite period after participating in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. . The Panthers also posted Jeevani Smith on long-term injury reserve after being hit in the face by a puck against Anaheim on Monday. . Sabres did Rasmus Asplund, Jacob Bryson And Eric Comrie healthy scratches.


Sabres: Receive Washington Capitals Sunday afternoon.

Panthers: Visit the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday night.

BOSTON. The best team in the NHL got bigger and stronger.

Already on track for one of the best seasons in hockey history, the Boston Bruins have acquired a quarterback. Dmitry Orlov and go Pomegranate Hathaway from the Washington Capitals on Thursday in exchange for a forward Craig Smith and three drafts. This is the latest major acquisition by an Eastern Conference contender as the league approaches the March 3 trade deadline.

“Let’s hope we stay healthy and try to run, show our best hockey at the right time,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney told reporters. “It will be a difficult road. It’s a difficult path to get in. It’s even harder when you’re already in.”

Boston sent Washington a 2023 first round pick, a 2024 second round pick, a 2025 third round pick, and Smith. The Capitals kept half of Orlov’s salary, while the Minnesota will pay 25%; The Wild will get the fifth round in 2023 for helping Boston stay under the limit.

Sweeney said Orlov and Garnet are arranging a trip so they can join the Bruins on their four-game road trip that began Thursday night against Seattle. They will join the team with the best record in the NHL after leaving the team that won it all in 2018 but hasn’t made it past the first round since and is struggling to make the playoffs this season.

“They were a ridiculously competitive and successful part of the[Capitals]organization,” Sweeney said. “So (they) are a bit shocked. But once they hear the excitement in our voice when we invite them on board, things quickly change.”

With a record of 43-8-5 and 91 points heading into the Kraken game, the Bruins showed some weaknesses. But memories of recent playoff upsets have left Sweeney worried about depth — especially on defense — and he’s hoping it’ll be a long postseason.

“I think we were trying to attack two different areas,” Sweeney said. “Dmitry and Granat can bring some qualities to our group. Now we try to stay healthy and run.”

Capitals sell at trade deadline for the first time since Alexey Ovechkinfreshman year more than a decade and a half ago.

“This transaction allows us to acquire project capital, infuse youth and replenish our system,” General Manager. Brian McLellan said. “While this season has proven to be challenging with injuries to our important players, we can use some of our current assets to retool our club and build a competitive team to move forward.”

The Bruins have racked up 100 points for four consecutive seasons without the pandemic, but only made it to the playoffs once, losing to the St. Louis Blues in the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals. After losing in the first round last year, Sweeney fired coach Bruce Cassidy and replaced him with Jim Montgomery.

Even though the year started without a top scorer Brad Marchand and the best defender Charlie McAvoy, who were both recovering from surgery during the off-season, the Bruins climbed to the top of the NHL standings. They won 17 of their first 19 games and were mostly undefeated at home until January 12th.

“Our squad has been battle-tested,” Sweeney said. “I think we can play any game against any team and we can react accordingly or dictate the terms. We tried to complement and add to that.”

Orlov, 31, was a homegrown Washington player who helped the team win the Stanley Cup in 2018. Hathaway, 31, has been on the Capitals’ fourth line for the past four seasons.

“Dmitri has been with our organization for nearly 14 years and has been a key player in helping us win the Stanley Cup,” McLellan said. “Garnet has been an important part of our team and a role model off the ice for his contributions to our community. We wish both players the very best in Boston.

Orlov was officially traded from Washington to Minnesota and then to Boston, while the Wild sent Andrey Svetlakov, drafted in 2017, to the Bruins. Sweeney said he had no indication that Svetlakov, who plays in the KHL, would leave Russia.

The Wild received a draft pick for helping trade for the second time in less than a week. The Wild received a 2025 fourth-round pick from Toronto to keep their paycheck in a deal that sent Ryan O’Reilly and ex-Bruins forward Noel Accari from St. Louis to the Maple Leafs.

NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville Predators Center Ryan Johansen will…

Source: nhl.nbcsports.com

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