Ovechkin played hurt

The Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin played through hamstring and knee injuries that hampered him in the playoffs.

Ovechkin said he felt something in his hamstring late in Game 3 of the second-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins and needed injections to numb the pain the rest of the way. A hit by Toronto’s Nazem Kadri in Game 5 of the first round caused the left knee injury that Ovechkin downplayed.

“You don’t want to play with any sort of injury,” Ovechkin said at Capitals exit day Friday. “Of course, you don’t feel 100 percent, you don’t (have) strength in your leg, but you play through that. Some players play with broken hand, broken leg because it’s the playoffs. You have to sacrifice your body to get success and get the result.”

Washington teammate Karl Alzner played with a broken bone in his hand and Marcus Johansson with a broken finger. Several other players talked about not being 100 percent during the playoff run.

Ovechkin said there were no tears in his hamstring or knee and that he did not need surgery. The injury, specifically to his hamstring, was bad enough to keep him from playing for Russia at the world championships, which he has done 12 times.