'My body needs a rest': Ovechkin to sit out NHL All-Star Game

'My body needs a rest': Ovechkin to sit out NHL All-Star Game
Russian ice hockey legend Alex Ovechkin will sit out the NHL All-Star Game in order to prepare his body for the rigors of the second half of the season.

The Washington Capitals star, who currently 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.

But the 33-year-old says he has decided to give the game a miss and instead use the spare time to get some much-needed rest ahead of the rest of the campaign with the Caps.

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

Ovechkin is no stranger to the All-Star Game, having been selected for eight games during his stellar NHL career.

But his eighth All-Star Game call-up will not result in an appearance for the Russian legend, who was disappointed not to be able to compete for his country in the Winter Olympics after league owners blocked NHL players from taking part in the tournament.

The big beneficiaries were Ovechkin's team, as he led the Capitals to their first-ever Stanley Cup win.

The All-Star festivities kick off with the Skills Competition on January 25, followed by the three-on-three All-Star Tournament the following day.

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.

But with the Caps leading the way in the Metropolitan Division, Washington fans are unlikely to be concerned as they pin their hopes on Ovechkin and his teammates continuing their form in their bid to claim back-to-back Stanley Cup wins.

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