ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals got encouraging news on Tuesday, as a couple of their injured players may travel with the team on their upcoming trip to New York.
Head coach Peter Laviolette said that T.J. Oshie and Vitek Vanecek may travel with the Capitals to New York as they face the Rangers on Thursday. However, it’s unclear whether or not they are close to a return to play.
The 2021-22 campaign hasn’t been an easy one for the 34-year-old, who has seen multiple trips to the injured reserve and also had bouts with COVID-19 and the flu. Oshie has been limited to just 18 games this season. however, he has made the most of his time in the lineup with five goals and 13 points in that span.
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The last time Oshie played was on Jan. 15 against the Islanders. He skated 1:46 minutes before exiting the game with an upper-body injury early in the first period. He was originally listed as day-to-day, which changed to week-to-week. Oshie finally skated with the group for the first time since his injury on Monday and also skated on Tuesday. He is cleared for contact.
Meanwhile, Vanecek is also back on the ice with the Capitals and is getting back into a rhythm. The Czech netminder last played on Feb. 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, he left early in the first period after a helmet-to-helmet collision with Kasperi Kapanen and a power-play goal against. He hadn’t p Ilya Samsonov has taken over the reins in the meantime, while Pheonix Copley has been backing up.
Before his injury, Vanecek was starting to get into a rhythm with a .941 save percentage and 1.67 GAA in his last six games.
Laviolette also said he expects Backstrom, who missed Tuesday’s skate for personal reasons, to travel.