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NHL playoffs 2017: Alex Ovechkin slowed by pair of leg injuries as Captials bowed out

Alex Ovechkin was dealing with a pair of leg injuries as the Capitals' latest playoff disappointment culminated in a Game 7 loss to the Penguins this week.

Washington's star forward told reporters Friday that he was playing with a left knee injury suffered on a controversial hit during Game 5 of the Maple Leafs series, then hurt his hamstring in Game 3 against the Pens.

While Ovechkin won't need surgery to address either issue this summer, the injuries will keep him from making his customary flight to immediately join Team Russia at the ongoing world championships. The Russian Federation had announced Thursday that the 31-year-old was willing to play "but doesn't want to let the team down because he finished the NHL playoffs on pain numbing injections."

Ovechkin had to be helped off the ice after taking a low hit from Toronto's Nazem Kadri on April 21 but returned for the start of the next period. Kadri got a two-minute tripping penalty for the play, though Caps coach Barry Trotz said he thought it should have been a major penalty.

Ovechkin told reporters the hamstring injury suffered May 1 against the Penguins was a bigger issue than the knee problem.

While it's unclear how much either ailment affected him, Ovechkin found the net three times in the first four games of the Leafs series and just twice in the Caps' final nine playoff games. His average time on ice remained essentially the same, though there were fluctuations from game to game.


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