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Capitals Notebook: Injured Ovechkin Makes Progress, Decisions Loom With Oshie Out

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin skated and got an update on the injury front, plus more on T.J. Oshie and the potential lineup against the Colorado Avalanche.



After a day off following a rough go-of-it in Sin City, the Washington Capitals took the ice at Ball Arena with a clear head on Monday, quickly putting the weekend out of their mind and getting back to work with a strong practice, where they got some good on and off-ice news.

First, T.J. Oshie left the road trip early and returned to D.C. on Monday, but for a good reason: He and his wife, Lauren, will be welcoming their fourth child. It's great news for No. 77 and his family, but it also leaves the team without a key member of the lineup for Tuesday's tilt with the Colorado Avalanche. Thankfully, they may have their captain back to help fill the void… Maybe.

Alex Ovechkin was on the ice for practice on Monday and per head coach Peter Laviolette, was moving well and looked good. He got some reps in working on the top line with Dylan Strome and Nicolas Aube-Kubel, but Aliaksei Protas was also interchanging on that combination with Ovechkin still uncertain, per The Washington Post's Samantha Pell.

READ MORE ON WHN: Oshie Has Strong Message For Washington Capitals After Loss To Vegas

Laviolette said Ovechkin is still day-to-day, but he looked good and the team will see how he feels on Tuesday at morning skate and before puck drop.

Considering Protas was the extra rotating in on the top line with Ovechkin's status still up in the air, expect Anthony Mantha to remain in the mix with Oshie back in D.C. Prior to suiting up on Saturday in place of Ovechkin, Mantha was a healthy scratch for four of the last six games and likely would've sat again had No. 8 played. With Oshie out, though, the team needs another strong middle-6 winger to generate chances and bring energy to the table, and Laviolette is counting on Mantha to step up and do that.

Protas, in turn, would be the odd man out if Ovechkin does return. Protas was recalled to be the No. 14 forward and an extra center with Nic Dowd injured and on the IR.

Darcy Kuemper also got to take in the place where he won it all last season, stepping onto the ice at Ball Arena for the first time since his championship season. This time, he'll be in the opposite net, but since he's played old teams before and also faced Colorado earlier this season, it isn't anything too overwhelming. Mostly, just fun.

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