ARLINGTON, V.A. — It appears the Washington Capitals will be closer to a fuller lineup when they take on the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday, with a couple of familiar faces seemingly ready to go.
John Carlson was on the ice for the morning skate and took part in line rushes, as was Dmitry Orlov. T.J. Oshie and Nick Jensen were not on the ice for the morning skate.
Carlson had been on COVID-19 protocol since Jan. 16 and has missed the last four games. He will Slot back in on the top pairing with Martin Fehervary.
In addition, the Capitals are also getting Dmitry Orlov back after serving a two-game suspension for kneeing Winnipeg Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers on Tuesday.
Still, they will have to operate without a couple more key pieces in Oshie and Jensen.
Oshie suffered an upper-body injury just minutes into the Capitals’ 2-0 victory on the Island on Jan. 15, skating in just two shifts before leaving the game and not returning. He is on the injured reserve and was able to come off for Monday’s game. The 34-year-old got some work in before an optional skate last week but has not skated with the whole team yet.
A handful of injuries, as well as bouts with COVID-19 and the flu, have limited Oshie to just 18 games this season. Still, he has made the most of it, dishing five goals and 13 points over that span.
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Jensen, who suffered an upper-body injury against Boston, was not on the ice. He had skated a bit prior to Saturday’s morning skate but returned to the dressing room before it began. He missed Saturday’s game vs. Ottawa.
Overall, Washington appears to be finally drawing closer to a healthy, full lineup, though Anthony Mantha still remains out indefinitely following shoulder surgery in November.
The team has been without three of its top-4 defensemen for the last four periods of hockey, but the Capitals have still managed to win two of their last three games after a losing skid to open 2022. They will look to make it back-to-back victories against Vegas, who is 4-2-2 in its last 10 games and sits first in the Pacific Division.
Here are Washington’s lines from the morning skate:
Alex Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom-Conor Sheary
Connor McMichael-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Tom Wilson
Aliaksei Protas-Lars Eller-Brett Leason
Carl Hagelin-NIc Dowd-Garnet Hathaway
Martin Fehervary-John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov-Justin Schultz
Michal Kempny-Trevor van Riemsdyk
All three Capitals goalies were on the ice, though a starter has not been named yet. Daniel Sprong appears to be a healthy scratch yet again.