Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is expected to return to the ice against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night after missing four games following the death of his father, a source confirmed to ESPN.
Ovechkin has not played in a game since Feb. 14, when he traveled home to Russia after the death of his father, Mikhail Ovechkin. He returned to D.C. and joined practice Wednesday.
The Washington Post was first to report that Ovechkin was expected to play Thursday night.
The Capitals have gone 0-4 in Ovechkin’s absence, including a blowout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes at the Stadium Series game.
Ovechkin’s father had been a fixture around the Capitals’ training facility and games, especially during his son’s early years in the NHL. Mikhail Ovechkin died after a long illness. He was 71.
The team said it would wear Papa Ovi stickers on its helmets for the remainder of the season in remembrance of Ovechkin’s father.
To make room for Ovechkin, the Capitals placed injured forward Anthony Mantha on injured reserve.
ESPN’s Emily Kaplan contributed to this report.
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