Ovechkin, Green named to same All-Star squad

They have been teammates for six seasons with the Capitals. It would have been odd for Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin to play on separate squads now.

That will not be an issue at Sunday's NHL All-Star Game at RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C., as Green -- an alternate captain on Team Staal -- made sure Ovechkin was chosen by his team in the All-Star selection draft. The way the teams were divvied up Friday night was different -- a playground-style production with team captains Eric Staal and Nicklas Lidstrom and two alternates choosing from the pool of 36 All-Stars. But no matter what the format, the NHL All-Star Game is nothing new at this point for Ovechkin, who is making his fourth appearance overall.

Not so for Green. He likely would have made it in 2010, but the game was left off the schedule entirely thanks to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The year before -- with 12 goals, 21 assists and 33 points at the break -- Green was an obvious snub. Not that he holds any grudges.

"I think it goes with how you play and your status in the game," Green said during an NHL conference call earlier this week. "And I was younger and really I didn't feel like I deserved to be there or should have been there or shouldn't have been there. It is what it is. But I'm worried about now and this is my opportunity."

All-Star notes
» Caps F Alex Ovechkin has scored a goal in each of his previous three All-Star Game appearances and has four total.
» Only Peter Bondra has made more NHL All-Star appearances (five) in Capitals history than Ovechkin, who is tied with Mike Gartner and Rod Langway for second.
» D Mike Green is the first Washington player to go to the All-Star game other than Ovechkin since 2003-04 when Robert Lang earned a spot.

Ovechkin, meanwhile, is in the midst of his worst statistical season. He still has 19 goals and 32 assists. But he'll have to work hard over the final 31 games to surpass his career low in points (92) set during his second season in 2006-07. But he's put together torrid stretches plenty of times before and had four goals and two assists in his last five games before the All-Star break.

Green made sure his teammate was with him on Team Staal. But he admitted before leaving for Raleigh that he had no idea how to help Staal prepare for a selection draft in which every single player is so talented.

"Just draft all the snipers," Caps general manager George McPhee cracked. "I don't know how you draft for a game like that to be honest. I think with what you have to draft from you can just throw a dart at the dartboard and you'll get a good player every time."