ARLINGTON, Va. — Alex Ovechkin says he understands why Capitals coach Dale Hunter benched him for all but 15 seconds in the final 14 minutes of Washington's 2-1 victory over Boston in Game 4 of their playoff series.
The two-time NHL MVP says Friday: "Of course I want to be there, but it's his decision."
Ovechkin says "it doesn't matter" how many minutes he plays, as long as Washington wins. He played 1 minute, 58 seconds in the third period.
Hunter says he sat his team's leading scorer on Thursday night because the game plan called for it. Coach and player say Ovechkin is healthy.
Hunter says he wanted "shot-blockers out there" with his team protecting a one-goal lead.
The series is tied 2-2 heading into Game 5 at Boston on Saturday.