It appears that T.J. Oshie and Nic Dowd will be back in the lineup for the Washington Capitals against the San Jose Sharks.
Washington activated both Dowd and Oshie off the injured reserve on Saturday and assigned Brett Leason to the AHL’s Hershey Bears.
Leason dished two goals and an assist in 10 games up with the Capitals.
Laviolette had mentioned that both Dowd and Oshie were game-time decisions for Saturday’s tilt. Both made the road trip and were making progress, skating in full gear on their own before getting into team drills. Dowd will play in his first game since going down with an injury on Nov. 8. Oshie will make his return after being injured blocking a shot against Detroit on Oct. 27.
Nicklas Backstrom, meanwhile, continues the road to recovery and is back in D.C. skating on his own in full gear. He remains on the long-term injured reserve. Anthony Mantha did not make the trip, either, and is out indefinitely following shoulder surgery in early November.
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This leaves Washington with 13 healthy forwards. Lars Eller is still quarantining in Anaheim and remains on COVID-19 protocol with no timetable for a return.
As for the call-ups, the Capitals are holding onto left-wing Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and centers Aliaksei Protas and Garrett Pilon, who Washington called up for their West Coast swing, for now. Leason dished two goals and an assist in 10 games up with the Capitals.
Jonsson-Fjallby and Protas have impressed so far on this road swing, showing speed and strong puck-moving ability and getting actively involved on offense. AJF almost had his first NHL goal against the Anaheim Ducks, but it didn’t count. Pilon filled in unexpectedly for Eller to open the road swing, scoring his first NHL goal in his first appearance of the 2021-22 campaign.
The rookies have been stellar with 17 points through 17 games with Washington so far this season, but it’ll be a welcome sign for Washington get back a top-6 forward and a top face-off man and penalty killer.
Washington plays San Jose at 10:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.