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Hurricanes Vs. Capitals: Alex Ovechkin Back In United States, Status For Season Opener Still Unknown

The Washington Capitals welcomed back Alex Ovechkin on Friday, as the star captain returned from Moscow after spending the week in Russia to mourn the loss of a relative. Ovechkin announced his return (in his less than stellar English) not long ago via Twitter:

its was hard back to moscow,but its life….happy to be back!!!!

Now the speculation begins as to whether or not Ovechkin will play in the Capitals season opener on Saturday night, a home tilt at Verizon Center against the Carolina Hurricanes. Considering how long the NHL season, I don't think anybody would blame him if he decided to sit out the opener either because he's still grieving or he's simply too jet-lagged to skate effectively. I’m sure the news will be announced soon, but one would presume that he would not have rushed back so quickly if he did not intend to play Saturday night. Ovi did, after all, just leave for Moscow on Monday of this week. However, he did give indications before leaving that he will play.

Once more, condolences to Alex and the Ovechkin family for their loss, and from hockey fans and enthusiasts across the country, best of luck in 2011-2012.

For more Capitals coverage prior to the season opener and throughout the year, make Japers' Rink a part of your regular reading.