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Capitals Notebook: Backstrom, Oshie Appear To Be Back In, Fucale Starts



Capitals forward T.J. Oshie

The Washington Capitals got great news on Monday, as Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie returned to the ice for the morning skate ahead of Monday’s tilt with the Boston Bruins. Both took line rushes and appear to be in against the B’s.

Backstrom and Oshie missed the team’s back-to-back road swing this past weekend as they fought non-COVID illnesses. Both had been battling the flu and were placed on the injured reserve on Friday.

Both Backstrom and Oshie haven’t seen too much action this season. Backstrom spent the first couple of months on the long-term injured reserve while rehabilitating a hip injury. After his first game back, he entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and skated in two games afterward before getting the flu. Oshie, meanwhile, suffered a lower-body injury that put him in a walking boot among other ailments.

Through three games, Backstrom has three assists this season. Oshie, meanwhile, has four goals and 12 points in 16 outings so far.

If the lines stick for Monday’s game, this will be the second time this season that the Capitals will have all of their usual top-4 centers and their entire PP1 unit in the lineup this season. It’s a good sign for Washington, who is looking to snap a three-game slide.

However, the team will still be shorthanded, as Dmitry Orlov entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on Monday. He is the 13th Capitals player to enter protocols this season.

Here is what the Capitals lines looked like at Monday’s skate, per The Washington Post’s Samantha Pell:

Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-T.J. Oshie

Daniel Sprong-Nicklas Backstrom-Tom Wilson

Connor McMichael-Lars Eller-Conor Sheary

Carl Hagelin-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway

Martin Fehervary-John Carlson

Trevor van Riemsdyk-Nick Jensen

Matt Irwin-Justin Schultz

Meanwhile, head coach Peter Laviolette appears to be riding the hot goalie. Zach Fucale was the first off the ice and will likely make his third career NHL start — and first-ever at home — after a record-breaking performance over the weekend.

Fucale surrendered no goals through his first 138:17 minutes of play in his career, smashing the previous record set by Minnesota goalie Matt Hackett back in 2011.

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