NHL NOTEBOOK

CAPITALS: Alex Ovechkin returned to Washington, practicing with his teammates after a week away to spend time with his ailing grandfather in Russia. The NHL’s reigning MVP and last season’s leading scorer was among the first few players on the ice at the team’s practice facility, out there 15 minutes before the full session began.

SENATORS: Ottawa acquired defenseman Drew Fata from the Phoenix Coyotes for forward Alexander Nikulin. Fata has no points in seven games this season with Phoenix’s American Hockey League affiliate in San Antonio. The 25-year-old Fata, whose brother Rico also played in the NHL, had one assist in five games with the New York Islanders last season.

WILD: Minnesota placed forward Owen Nolan on injured reserve with a lower body injury. Nolan has played in five of Minnesota’s 10 games.

BLUE JACKETS: Columbus activated left wing Fredrik Modin off injured reserve and sent right wing Derek Dorsett to the minors. Modin has a groin injury. The 34-year-old has three assists in five games this year.

STARS: Dallas sent defenseman Mark Fistric, forward James Neal and left wing Chris Conner to the minor leagues. Fistric and Neal were assigned to the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League. Conner’s going to the AHL’s Peoria Rivermen after his emergency recall.

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