Capitals fined $100,000; Ovechkin among four players on COVID-Related Absence list

The Sabres are scheduled to play in Washington on Friday and Sunday
By WGR 550 SportsRadio

The Buffalo Sabres are scheduled to play in Washington on Friday and Sunday, but their opponent could be without several key pieces, as there is now a COVID-19 situation with the Capitals.

Four Capitals players have been placed on the National Hockey League's COVID- Related Absence list, including Alex Ovechkin, Dmitry Orlov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and starting netminder Ilya Samsonov.

In addition, the NHL has fined the Capitals $100,000 for violating the league's COVID-19 protocols. The league's statement on the matter is as follows:

"The National Hockey League announced today that it has fined the Washington Capitals $100,000 for player violations of the league's COVID-19 protocols which involved social interactions among team members who were in close contact and who were not wearing face coverings."

In a team statement, the Capitals said the players involved interacted in a hotel room and outside of team approved areas during their recent four-game road trip.

Here is the Capitals' statement, as well as a statement from Ovechkin:

In terms of on-ice impact, the Sabres may have the benefit of playing a weakened Capitals squad on Friday and Sunday, without two of their best offensive players, one of their best defensemen, and their presumed No. 1 goaltender.

When speaking with the media on Thursday, Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said that all four of his players that were placed on the COVID-Related Absence list are in quarantine and believes that they will miss the next four games. Laviolette also said that there was a positive case of COVID-19 among the four players, and the league did its required contact tracing to land them all on the COVID-Related Absence list.

Faceoff for Friday is set for 7 p.m. EST with pregame coverage on WGR beginning at 6 p.m. EST with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog.