Alex Ovechkin to skip NHL All-Star Game for extra rest

The reason Vogel gives is that Ovechkin wants "to take full advantage of the adjoining bye week to recuperate and get ready for the second half of the season and the playoff push".

"My body needs a rest,"ESPN reported Ovechkin as saying after practice on Wednesday".

Ovechkin's decision to sit out the All-Star Game means he will also have to miss one Capitals' game, either directly before or after All-Star weekend, per league rules.

The Washington Capitals star, who now tops the league scoring charts with 29 goals, was originally selected as the captain of the Metropolitan Division team for the All-Star Game, which takes place on January 26. Ovechkin has played in all 38 Capitals games this season, amassing 29 goals and 16 assists. This is the third All-Star game Ovechkin will miss during his tenure.

Ovechkin had been vocal about participating in the Olympics for his native Russian Federation during last season, but league owners prevented NHL players from going.

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The All-Star Skills Competition will take place January 25, while the All-Star Game will take place January 26 at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.

The All-Star Skills Competition will take place January 25, and the main event will follow on January 26.

He'll have to sit out one game since he's not missing the game related to an injury, as per National Hockey League policy.

Ovechkin was chosen as a captain by fan vote, joining Auston Matthews (Atlantic), Connor McDavid (Pacific) and Nathan MacKinnon (Central).

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