Ovechkin, the reigning Hart Trophy-winner as league MVP, is back in Russia visiting his ailing grandfather. The game marked the end of Ovechkin's consecutive games-played streak at 203.
Viktor Kozlov and Dave Steckel also scored for the Caps. Theodore stopped 23 shots, and only allowed one goal in four shootout rounds for Washington.
Jason Arnott scored twice and J.P. Dumont had three assists for the Predators. Ville Koistinen scored in regulation and had the lone shootout goal for Nashville. Dan Ellis had 29 saves.