Brett Connolly said he expects to return to the Caps’ lineup when they host the Oilers on Sunday.
The 25-year-old winger has missed the last seven games with the first diagnosed concussion of his career.
With Connolly returning, the Caps sent Liam O’Brien back to Hershey on Saturday morning. O’Brien did not record a point in three games while seeing limited minutes.
As for Connolly, he said he’s not sure which line he’ll be assigned to vs. Connor McDavid and the Oilers since Saturday’s practice was optional.
Wherever Connolly lines up, though, his goal will be the same: get off to a strong start.
“I’m looking to come in right away and have a good game and build off of that,” he said.
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Prior to getting hurt against Vancouver, Connolly had registered a goal and an assist in nine prior games.
“My start to the year has been ‘okay’,” he said. “There’s a lot of year left and I just want to come in here and have some good vibes about my game and get going right away. Hopefully I can do that tomorrow.”
Connolly, however, isn’t the only injured Capital who’s nearing a return.
Defenseman Matt Niskanen, who’s been out since suffering an upper body injury Oct. 13, traded his non-contact jersey for a normal one on Saturday. Toward the end of practice, he participated in some light 2-on-2 work where he got jostled around a bit. Assuming there’s no setback, that’ll signal yet another significant step in his recovery.
Niskanen won’t play against Edmonton, but it would seem possible that he could see some action on next week’s road trip to Nashville and Colorado.
Meanwhile, Tyler Graovac also skated Saturday but isn’t quite ready to suit up yet. He’s been sidelined with an upper body injury since Oct 17.
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