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Capitals Notebook: Mantha, Oshie Progressing, Backstrom Misses Skate



Capitals practice

ARLINGTON, V.A. — After seeing their full lineup hit the ice on Monday, the Washington Capitals got back to work again on Tuesday. And although Nicklas Backstrom didn’t skate due to personal reasons, the team saw Anthony Mantha and T.J. Oshie continue to make progress in their recoveries.

Mantha remained in a blue non-contact jersey, and skated mainly as an extra forward, drawing in and out with Brett Leason. Meanwhile, Oshie was a full go in a regular sweater, skating on the third line with Connor McMichael and Lars Eller.

Meanwhile, Justin Schultz and Vitek Vanecek were also on the ice and cleared for contact. Schultz had been named day-to-day after suffering an upper-body injury against the Nashville Predators. He also missed Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Vanecek, meanwhile, has been back at practice and skating for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 1.

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With Backstrom out, Daniel Sprong was filling in as the second-line center. Brett Leason, Michal Kempny and Matt Irwin, along with Mantha, were the extras.

Here are what the line combinations looked like:

Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Conor Sheary

Joe Snively-Daniel Sprong-Tom Wilson

Connor McMichael-Lars Eller-T.J. Oshie

Carl Hagelin-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway

Brett Leason-Anthony Mantha

Martin Fehervary-John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen

Trevor van Riemsdyk-Justin Schultz

Michal Kempny-Matt Irwin

All three Capitals goalies were on the ice for practice. Ilya Samsonov, meanwhile, celebrated his 25th birthday at the skate.

Despite Backstrom’s absence, Washington is still seeing progress with several key names returning to the ice.

“We’re still not there — there’s still a lot of question marks out there,” head coach Peter Laviolette said of the lineup on Monday. “But it was nice to get everybody out there and practice.”

The Capitals also got some conditioning in, working on skating, doing some sprints and more.

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