Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin returned for the second period of Game 5 against the Toronto Maple Leafs following a hard hit to the left knee from Nazem Kadri.
Kadri went low in an apparent attempt to deliver a hip-check on Ovechkin late in the first period Friday night, but ended up catching the left knee of the Russian star. Ovechkin was eventually helped off the ice, putting no pressure on his left leg as he went to the dressing room.
The 31-year-old returned to loud cheers for the start of the second period and delivered a heavy hit on Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner on his first shift.
Kadri was assessed a two-minute penalty for tripping and the Capitals scored on the ensuing power play for a 1-0 lead.
Ovechkin scored three goals in the first four games of the first-round series.
Jonas Siegel, The Canadian Press