By Chris Lingebach

Alex Ovechkin says being eliminated by the Penguins in the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs was the “hardest loss” of his career.

More than four months have passed since the Capitals were shut out 2-0 at home in the decisive Game 7 loss to Pittsburgh, halting what was perhaps Washington’s best chance to win the Stanley Cup in Ovechkin’s 12-year career.

“Obviously right now, this is probably the hardest loss in my career for this organization,” Ovechkin told The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan Friday. “We thought we were going to have a championship team. We dominated all year.”

“It’s been hard for us to come back right now and play hockey again,” he said of preparing to start anew. “I’m not surprised we were good. But right now, it’s time to forget about it and move forward. Obviously it’s hard, but you have to do it if you want to get success.”

For the third time in their respective NHL careers, Ovechkin had to watch Sidney Crosby hoist the Stanley Cup.

“Obviously we have a good relationship,” Ovechkin said. “We respect each other as a person.”

“Obviously, he owns three Stanley Cups,” he said. “I hope my time is going to be soon, but sometimes you just have to wait a little bit. So I hope my time is going to come.”

Ovechkin and his wife, Nastya, held their wedding in Russia over the summer, nearly a year after getting married by law.

“We just had a great time, all my friends, my family,” he said. “We were waiting a long time. I had a great time. I’m enjoying this time. Everybody was happy and I was dancing. Everybody was having fun. We had two great days of our wedding. It was great.”

She handled planning the wedding, though he did play a key role in the process.

“My wife did an unbelievable job,” he said. “My job is simple: just do cash, you know?”

Ovehckin gave some thought to wearing a fake tooth for wedding photos, although he ultimately decided in favor of keeping his iconic gap-toothed look.

“Me and my wife thought about it, but I just want to be natural, who I am,” he said. “Everybody knows me without tooth, right? Most of the people. I don’t have it since — like, what? — maybe 10 years? So why do I have to put my tooth back for my wedding?”

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