For the second consecutive year, one of hockey’s biggest stars won’t take part in the game honoring the best players. 

Washington Capitals forward and three-time Hart Trophy winner Alexander Ovechkin said Friday he will be skipping the NHL’s All-Star Game. He did the same last year and told reporters after the Capitals’ 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets that the decision comes with his health in mind. 

“I have to listen to my body,” the 34-year-old said. “I have to get ready for the second half of the year. I have to be healthy and focus on different things. It’s a hard decision, obviously, being the captain and missing the All-Star Game, but I have to do best for me and for my team.

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