The Washington Capitals are making preparations for the weekend and made another roster move, bringing up Brett Leason from the taxi squad on Thursday.
Leason’s promotion comes as Washington works through a few absences. Alex Ovechkin didn’t skate on Thursday due to precautionary reasons (upper-body), but head coach Peter Laviolette is optimistic he will play over the weekend. Carl Hagelin and Dmitry Orlov remain on COVID-19 protocol.
“He hardly ever misses. We had a day off yesterday, but he doesn’t even like missing today,” Laviolette said of Ovechkin. “This is a guy who was in COVID protocol and came out and played five hours later. So he wants to play games.”
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The Capitals return to action on Saturday in New York before heading home for a Sunday tilt with the Canucks. Washington is looking to put an end to a four-game losing skid.
Leason skated on the fourth line with Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway at Thursday’s skate. Before that, he got to skate on the top line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie with Ovechkin taking a maintenance day on Tuesday. Aliaksei Protas was in that spot on Thursday.
Through 25 games this season, Leason has three goals and six points. He last played on Jan. 7, skating just over 11 minutes in the team’s 5-1 loss to the Blues. The 2019 second-rounder also picked up his first career multi-point performance back in Winnipeg on Dec. 17, where Washington won in convincing 5-2 fashion over the Jets.
The 6-foot-5, 218-pound rookie is a big, strong forward with good skating ability and quick hands. His frame and ability should complement Dowd and Hathaway well.