Ovechkin out when Capitals host Predators

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Nashville (4-4-0) at Washington (4-3-1) 7:00 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The Washington Capitals will be without

reigning Hart Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin on Tuesday when they

host the Nashville Predators.

Ovechkin has returned to his native Russia to visit his ailing

grandfather. The Capitals did not disclose when Ovechkin would

return to the club, stating that the 23-year-old left wing

officially is listed as day-to-day.

"It's tough because it has nothing to do with team and it has

everything to do with family," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau

said. "Everybody here, if a loved one that was very close to us

was not in good health, we'd feel the same way.

"Sometimes he bottles it all up inside. But you can tell by the

way he relates with his mother and father that they've got a

very close family relationship. So with his grandfather being

as sick as he is, I would assume that it would bother him

greatly. It would bother me if it was my mother or father or

grandparents."

Although Ovechkin will not be available, the Capitals said

Monday that they likely will not make a roster move since they

currently are carrying two extra forwards - David Steckel and

Eric Fehr - on their roster.

Washington also has Alexander Semin, who is off to the fastest

start in team history and is tied for the NHL lead in points.

Semin has seven goals and seven assists in the first eight

games, becoming the quickest player on the Capitals to reach 14

points.

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