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Capitals Notebook: Wilson, Carlson, Dowd Updates, Ovechkin On Leave

The Washington Capitals got injury updates as Tom Wilson and Nic Dowd skated. Plus, the latest on John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin.



ARLINGTON, V.A. — It was an emotional day at MedStar Capitals Iceplex as the Washington Capitals heard the news of the death of captain Alex Ovechkin's father, Mikhail. As Ovechkin left for Russia to be with his family, several Capitals took the ice for an optional skate, including some key injured players.

Tom Wilson continued to progress and skated in a regular jersey, and said that each day he's improving and that he feels much better than he did a few days back. He has not played since Jan. 24 against the Colorado Avalanche, where he suffered a lower-body injury blocking a Brad Hunt slapshot from close range.

"Every day right now is getting better… I don't know where I'll be at in two, three days here or tomorrow or whatever, but I wake up every morning, come to the rink and try and get a skate in, get out there and play hockey and it's been feeling better, so that's all I can ask," Wilson said. "Just gotta keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully, I wake up one morning and feels okay to put in the skate and play a hockey game."

Meanwhile, Nic Dowd joined the team for the first time in a non-contact jersey after spending time skating on his own. He has not played since suffering a lower-body injury following an awkward hit from Cal Clutterbuck back on Jan. 16 against the New York Islanders.

"It's good that he's out there and pushing. I'm still not sure of a timetable," head coach Peter Laviolette said. "But again the progression of getting players out on the ice and in different colored jerseys and pushing themselves up and down the ice will lead to at some point, practice and repetition and then hopefully games."

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Regarding whether or not Wilson or Dowd is closer to returning, Laviolette couldn't guarantee anything but said they're both on "similar" timelines.

"It's hard to say, to be honest. I think they're both moving on a similar ship," Laviolette said. "Maybe one's at the front of the ship and one's on the middle of the ship. But they're moving together, they're working to get back."

There was also an update on the John Carlson front, as the defenseman has been skating on his own and getting work in as he continues to work his way back after having taken a slapshot to the face back on Dec. 23 against the Winnipeg Jets. He remains out indefinitely and his return is still "off in the distance."

"I've seen him on the ice," Laviolette said. "I believe his ship is further behind the other two, he's not on that ship."

On the Ovechkin front, the team is giving him as much time as he needs to mourn the death of his father. He is away from the team indefinitely and is not listed on the team's roster at this time.

Aliaksei Protas also skated after missing Tuesday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. They welcomed a baby girl around midnight.

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