Capitals Notebook: Ovechkin To Return, Mantha To IR, Lineup Notes
The Washington Capitals will get Alex Ovechkin back on Thursday, plus the latest on Anthony Mantha and lineup changes ahead of the tilt with the Anaheim Ducks.
ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals will get a major spark on Thursday, as captain Alex Ovechkin will make his return to the lineup and look to help the team snap a five-game losing streak against the Anaheim Ducks.
Ovechkin missed the last four games mourning the death of his father, Mikhail. He returned home to Russia last week to be with his family and returned to D.C. on Wednesday. He has skated just three times since leaving the team, once in Russia and twice over the last two practices.
Meanwhile, to make space for Ovechkin, Anthony Mantha will go on the injured reserve. The 28-year-old is day-to-day with an upper-body injury that he suffered against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday. Washington did not run forward lines, so it's unclear what those will look like with those changes up front.
With Mantha on the IR and Ovechkin back, the team sits at 23 skaters, and Dylan McIlrath has also earned an extended stay. The 6-5 blueliner has impressed head coach Peter Laviolette, and he will remain in the mix as the defensive pairings will stay the same, with him working alongside Erik Gustafsson on the third pairing.
Charlie Lindgren will get the start following four consecutive games for Darcy Kuemper.