After a hard practice on Sunday, the Washington Capitals got right back to it on Monday with another practice and saw more updates on the injury front ahead of Wednesday’s tilt with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Ahead of practice, Nicklas Backstrom got more shooting work in and worked on some real-time game situations with assistant coach Blaine Forsythe, per NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti.
Nicklas Backstrom was doing some shooting drills with assistant coach Blaine Forsythe before Capitals practice. He is finished now. Practice starts shortly. pic.twitter.com/QifapDyWFx
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) November 21, 2022
T.J. Oshie also practiced for the second straight day, while Garnet Hathaway also returned after missing Sunday’s practice due to personal reasons. Dmitry Orlov, however, was not among those skating, marking a possible step back in his recovery.
Both Oshie and Orlov are still on the injured reserve. They took part in regular line rushes on Monday, with Oshie on the second-line RW and Orlov on the second defensive pairing with Nick Jensen. Washington assigned Connor McMichael to the AHL’s Hershey Bears on Sunday, allowing space for either Oshie or Orlov to return from the IR for Wednesday’s game.
The Capitals have off on Tuesday, so it is unclear if Orlov will skate again or be back in time. From the looks of it, Oshie is nearing a return and could be closer to coming back.
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Oshie has not played since Oct. 29 against the Nashville Predators after suffering a lower-body injury in the first period. Orlov has missed the last seven games as he deals with a lower-body injury of his own. He left the Nov. 5 tilt with the Arizona Coyotes early.
Getting both back is vital for Washington, who has dropped four straight games and nine of the last 11 overall. The team is lacking chemistry throughout the lineup, as the offense struggles at 5-on-5 and on the power play, while the blue line deals with miscommunications and issues of its own. Having key pieces like Oshie and Orlov back will prove to be a difference-maker.