SUN Hockey Pool

NHL notes: Ovechkin admits being peeved

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin skates during a stoppage in play in a game against the Penguins at...

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin skates during a stoppage in play in a game against the Penguins at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Penn., Oct. 13, 2011. (JASON COHN/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:46 PM ET

Alex Ovechkin wouldn't reveal what he said after being benched late in the Washington Capitals game against the Anaheim Ducks but he admitted Wednesday he wasn't too pleased with coach Bruce Boudreau at the time.

Ovechkin wasn't on the ice as the Caps pressed for the tying goal late in the third Tuesday. TV cameras caught the Russian star muttering something as he sat down, leading to speculation he called Boudreau a "fat f---."

"Well, I was pissed off," Ovechkin told reporters Wednesday. "Of course I want to be in that situation on the ice and you know it doesn't matter who I said it (to) and what I said. It looked funny on TV.

"It's just a little bit frustrating because I'm a leader on the team and I want to be on that kind of responsibility but Bruce put Brooks (Laich's) line and it worked."

The Caps tied the score then won 5-4 in overtime.

WAITING GAME

New York Rangers winger Sean Avery, freshly recalled from the AHL, will not be in the lineup Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks.

Avery practised with the team Wednesday, the first time he has done so since being sent to the minors at the end of the pre-season.

Rangers coach John Tortorella said he wants to use the same lineup from Monday's 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks so Avery won't play until Saturday at the earliest. The Rangers are home to the Montreal Canadiens that night.

"(Fans and media) have their favourite players and they have their players to grind on," Tortorella told ESPN.com. "Doesn't matter either way to me, whether they grind on him or love him, it's not going to change my decision-making."

JOKINEN OUT A MONTH

The Carolina Hurricanes will be without forward Jussi Jokinen for three to four weeks.

Jokinen injured his left leg when he fell awkwardly during the third period of Tuesday's win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"It didn't look good and it isn't good," Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said Wednesday.

The Hurricanes also activated forward Zac Dalpe off injured reserve and sent him to Charlotte of the AHL.

Dalpe suffered a lower-body injury Oct. 14. He has no points in five games with the Hurricanes this season.

The Hurricanes called up forward Drayson Bowman from Charlotte. Bowman has five goals and two assists in 10 games with the AHL club.

NUGE NHL'S BEST

Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was named the NHL's rookie of the month for October.

Nugent-Hopkins, who leads rookies in scoring with five goals and six assists in 11 games, edged out Nashville Predators centre Craig Smith, Buffalo Sabres centre Luke Adam, Ottawa Senators winger Colin Greening and Colorado Avalanche winger Gabriel Landeskog for the award.

KRONWALL OK

Detroit Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall didn't receive a concussion on a borderline hit by Minnesota Wild forward Mikko Koivu Tuesday night.

Kronwall was shaken up and wasn't available to the media after the game, leading to speculation he had a concussion. But Kronwall was at practice Wednesday and Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said he would play Thursday against the Calgary Flames.

In other Red Wings news, forward Gustav Nyquist was sent to Grand Rapids of the AHL. Nyquist made his NHL debut against the Wild.

BACKLUND IMPATIENT

Injured Calgary Flames centre Mikael Backlund is nearing a return from a broken finger suffered just before the season.

Backlund sent out a message via Twitter late Tuesday night: "Had my bag pack n was ready for 1st roadtrip but got the "no you're not ready to skate with the team" from team dr. #disappointment"

He added: "But will be more than ready next week!"

Backlund was pegged to start the season on a line with Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay before getting hurt in practice.

BRIEFLY

Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Duncan Keith won't play Thursday against the Florida Panthers. Keith, who was hurt Monday against the Nashville Predators, is day-to-day with an upper-body injury ... Dallas Stars agitator Steve Ott is questionable for Friday's home game against the Colorado Avalanche. Ott has a hip injury ... Former Washington Capitals captain Chris Clark signed a professional tryout agreement with Providence of the AHL. Clark was at the Boston Bruins camp but was released before the season ... Ottawa Senators goalie Alex Auld skated Wednesday and will likely be ready to back up Craig Anderson Friday against the Montreal Canadiens. That means Robin Lehner will be sent back to Binghamton to play in the AHL this weekend.


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