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Alex Ovechkin heads back to Russia due to death in the family

Oct 3, 2011, 4:25 PM EDT

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Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

Alex Ovechkin will be away from the Washington Capitals for the next few days as he left for Moscow to be with his family after the passing of his uncle in Russia.

The Washington Post notes that the Capitals are hopeful that Ovechkin will return in time for the start of the season on Saturday night against Carolina. Ovechkin being the team captain and unquestioned offensive leader means if he’s out the Caps will have to find their offense elsewhere.

Washington heads into the new season with sky-high expectations after making some key additions in the offseason, but it’s Ovechkin’s success that will determine how far they can go this year.

Here’s to hoping that Ovechkin and his family find peace in this time of grief.

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