It's more likely he will use his stick than his skates if the Capitals are to beat the Rangers in this series that begins Thursday.
Ovechkin, the NHL's leading goal-scorer with 32 in this shortened season, is healthy and on a roll. So are the Capitals, who returned to practice Monday in Arlington, Va. They overcame a 2-8-1 start to win the Southeast Division and No. 3 seed.
"It's nice that we're going to have [a] couple more days to relax and get ready,'' said Ovechkin, who led the NHL with 14 goals and 22 points in April as Washington went 11-1-1.
"You have to respect them,'' Oates said. "They play an aggressive, pressure-type game. It's nothing we haven't seen. They play version of it.''
Notes & quotes:The Caps hope veteran forward Joel Ward is ready to go in Game 1. He missed the final nine games of the season with a left knee contusion but practiced Monday.