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Ovechkin Talks With NHL About Hit

As reported yesterday, Alex Ovechkin won't be suspended for his controversial hit on Buffalo Sabres captain Daniel Briere. But Ovechkin did get a call this morning from the NHL's dean of discipline, Colin Campbell, to discuss the matter.

"We talk about it," Ovechkin said after practice. "He tell me we understand you don' try to give some dirty hit. I tell him I don't want to give some dirty hit, I just want to hit him. But he's turning and I don't have time to do something. ...I know for sure I play next game. It's very good for me and very good for my team. I'm happy it's done."

Then Ovechkin said, "I hope Briere is okay."

Although it was unclear whether Ovechkin would face a stiffer fine than the automatic $100 penalty he drew Saturday night, Capitals Coach Glen Hanlon thinks he might.

"There's likely going to be a fine," Hanlon said. "I think the minimum is 100 [dollars] and the maximum is 2,000, or something like that."

Hanlon added: "The league looked at Ovie's record. He's not a dirty player. He's not somebody who is a repeat offender. We're happy we don't lose our best player. We obviously look at it differently than Buffalo does, because it was their player that could have been injured. [Buffalo Coach Lindy Ruff] was right. If it was Ovechkin who was hurt, we'd be up in arms ourselves."

In other news, defenseman Jamie Heward (facial laceration) attended practice, but did not skate. He had a minor setback during surgery on Saturday and now probably won't be able to play for 7-10 days, perhaps longer.

Right wing Richard Zednik (groin) also did not skate, but he does not appear to be injured as seriously as it looked Saturday. He won't play Wednesday and will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.

Center Dainius Zubrus also returned to practice. He will play against the Senators after missing two games with a severe illness. No one is sure what it was, but it sent him to the hospital and kept him in bed for four days. He still looked sick today.

There will be much more in tomorrow's paper.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 4, 2006; 2:46 PM ET
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