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Capitals Notebook: Ovechkin Returns, Fucale Joins Mix As Caps Prep For FLA

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Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin

ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup Playoffs quest officially kicked off on Sunday, as the team took the ice for its first postseason practice before their first-round series with the Florida Panthers kicks off on Tuesday.

Alex Ovechkin, who missed the final three games of the regular season with an upper-body injury, took the ice for practice. The 36-year-old was a full-go, taking part in drills and line rushes. He suffered the injury back on Sunday after going hard into the boards against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He has been day-to-day since.

Ovechkin was back on the top line along with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Conor Sheary. The rest of the combinations, meanwhile, went back to what had been working for the team prior to No. 8’s injury.

Here are what the combinations looked like at MedStar Capitals Iceplex:

Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Conor Sheary

Marcus Johansson-Nicklas Backstrom-Tom Wilson

Anthony Mantha-Lars Eller-T.J. Oshie

Johan Larsson-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway

Martin Fehervary-John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen

Trevor van Riemsdyk-Justin Schultz

In net, Zach Fucale was on the ice with Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek. Fucale was called up on Sunday from the AHL’s Hershey Bears and will be the third goalie as the team begins its Stanley Cup pursuit. The Capitals, meanwhile, continue to ponder their goaltending situation and who will be the Game 1 starter. Samsonov and Vanecek split the regular season down the middle, but neither has stepped up to claim the No. 1 role. It’s unclear who will get the call to begin the series with Florida.

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