Best wishes to RJ

Alex Ovechkin already has 30 goals. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres know stopping Capitals star Alex Ovechkin will be difficult

Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – In Alex Ovechkin’s world, this might qualify as a slump. The slick Washington Capitals winger hasn’t scored in his last two games.

Whoa!

Ovechkin, who will face the Sabres on Sunday, hasn’t gone three straight contests without a goal all season. The Russian already has 30 goals in 36 appearances.

How do you stop him?

“Those type of players … you don’t try to say they won’t get any chances because they will,” interim coach Ted Nolan said today inside the Riverside Ice Rink after the Sabres prepared for the Capitals. “You got to limit their great opportunities and you got to make a tough game out of it. That’s the only way you can hopefully have some success.”

Sabres defenseman Henrik Tallinder said Ovechkin “never sleeps.”

“It’s like he’s awake all the time on the ice,” he said. “Yeah, it’s tough (to defend him). But we’ve done it before so let’s do it again.”

How should opponents defend Ovechkin?

“Be aware when he’s on the ice and where he is on the ice, and make sure that you stay close to him so he doesn’t have room to operate,” Tallinder said. “He’s pretty good. Even when he doesn’t have any time he’s good. It’s a tough task for us. But stay close and be on him all night.”

Ovechkin has 20 goals and 32 points in 30 career games against the Sabres.

In other news, captain Steve Ott had a maintenance day from practice today, Nolan said.

“He’s a warrior from the good old days,” Nolan said. “He battles and battles hard. So you need to give him a good rest today.”

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