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Capitals Return McIlrath To Hershey; Orlov Return Possible vs. Jets



Washington Capitals

Less than two hours ahead of puck drop against the Winnipeg Jets, the Washington Capitals saw some big-time progress on the injury front and made a move to open a spot on the roster. They returned Dylan McIlrath to the AHL’s Hershey Bears after having called him up on Sunday morning, and signs now point to Dmitry Orlov’s potential return.

Along with the move, the NHL media site no longer has Orlov listed on the injured reserve. Nothing is certain, but it looks like it’s go-time for No. 9.

Orlov has missed the last 16 games with a lingering lower-body injury. He last played on Nov. 5 against the Arizona Coyotes but left that game after the first period. The Russian was also dealing with a lower-body injury prior to the start of the regular season.

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Through 13 games this season, Orlov has five assists and a +/- of plus-3. It is a contract year for him, as he is set to become a UFA on July 1.

His return would be welcome for Washington. The team is missing a myriad of blueliners, including Martin Fehervary (day-to-day, upper-body) and Alex Alexeyev (upper-body). Fehervary was hurt on Dec. 3 against the Calgary Flames. Alexeyev is out following an elbow to the head from Jamie Oleksiak in Friday’s 4-1 win over the Seattle Kraken. Erik Gustafsson’s status is also up in the air, as he left Sunday’s morning skate in Winnipeg early.

The Capitals and Jets will face off at 7 p.m. ET. WHN has the full tale of the tape and everything to know prior to the tilt between Washington and Winnipeg, from projected Capitals lines to key names to watch and other important stats to be on the lookout for throughout the game.