Left-winger Alex Ovechkin is in the Washington Capitals lineup against the New York Rangers after missing two weeks because of an injury.
The two-time NHL MVP practised with his teammates on Tuesday morning and came through that and the pre-game warmup without any setbacks.
Ovechkin wasted little time making an impact, scoring a power-play goal at 15:06 of the first period to answer Marian Gaborik's marker 76 seconds after the opening faceoff.
Ovechkin missed six games because of an upper body injury, believed to be a left shoulder strain. He entered Tuesday tied for the NHL lead with 14 goals, despite playing only 14 games.
The Capitals won four of six games without Ovechkin, who got hurt against Columbus on Nov. 1. He was excited to get back to game action.
"It's going to be a pretty cool moment for me," he said.
While Washington welcomed back Ovechkin, it was without top forward Alexander Semin, who has been bothered by a sore right wrist.
Semin was injured last week, but hadn't missed a game because of his wrist until he sat out against the Rangers on Tuesday night.
The Capitals were also missing goalie Jose Theodore, who returned home because of a personal matter.
Washington entered Tuesday's action atop the Southeast Division with a 12-4-4 record for 28 points, six more than the 8-4-6 Tampa Bay Lightning, who began the day with two games in hand.