Capitals Notebook: Eller’s Position Depends On Dowd, Lineup Notes
The Washington Capitals will likely see Nic Dowd back in the mix against the Detroit Red Wings, and moves are coming should No. 26 return. Plus more lineup notes for Tuesday.
ARLINGTON, V.A. — It looks like Nic Dowd could very well be back in the mix for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings, which means change for Lars Eller.
Dowd, who suffered a lower-body injury on Jan. 16 against the New York Islanders following an awkward hit along the boards from Cal Clutterbuck, is likely in after missing the last 12 games. The 32-year-old has been taken off the injured reserve and Aliaksei Protas was returned to Hershey, further indicating that Dowd will play. Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Alex Alexeyev and Matt Irwin all stayed on for extra work with Charlie Lindgren. Darcy Kuemper is expected to make his fourth straight start against Detroit.
If Dowd does come back, Eller will move to the wing. Aube-Kubel will likely sit out as the extra forward based on who stayed on after the morning skate.
Getting Dowd back will be a major positive for Washington, who is in the throes of a four-game losing streak and is out of a playoff spot. Not only that, but the team is still operating without Alex Ovechkin, who is away indefinitely following the death of his father, John Carlson, who is skating on his own and on the long road back from a slapshot to the face, and other key players.
Through 44 games, Dowd has 10 goals and nine assists. He is on pace to set a new career-high in goals. Not only that, but he is a top penalty killer, and his fourth line is one of the best in the league when it comes to two-way play and generating and sustaining pressure in the offensive zone.
The Capitals did not take line rushes at practice, so all will be revealed during warmups.