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Are Orpik and Johansson close to having return dates?

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Are Orpik and Johansson close to having return dates?

Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik (lower body injury) and center Marcus Johansson (upper body injury) will not play this weekend against the Devils and Flyers, but there’s a good chance they’ll join the Capitals next week on their road trip to Nashville, Minnesota and Dallas.

Orpik, 35, was injured when he blocked a shot against the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 10 and revealed Friday that he suffered a bone fracture on the play, which forced him to refrain from skating for eight weeks.

“It’s tough with bone injuries,” Orpik said. “I don’t think age plays into that. When you break a bone it’s just bad luck getting hit somewhere where you don’t have protection.

“Any time you miss games I think you feel you’re letting teammates down, management down, coaches down, fans down.

“The injury is fine, it’s just getting the rest of my body to feel normal and feel good again.”

Earlier in his career, Orpik said he remembers missing three weeks with a broken hand, and 10 days with a separated shoulder as a member of the Penguins. Now sidelined for 35 games, he said this is his longest time on the shelf in his 12-year NHL career.

“Trying to be patient with it is tough in the middle of the season when you haven’t gone through something like this before,” he said.

Orpik said it’s difficult to simulate the hard-hitting of game action during light practices like the one the Caps had on Friday. With that in mind Orpik and Johansson remained on the ice 30 minutes after their teammates to get extra work with the Caps’ assistant coaches.

Johansson, who was injured on Jan. 27 in the game before the NHL All-Star break, said he’s feeling “better and better every day.” He wore a non-contact gray jersey at Friday’s practice and is hoping to get back in the lineup sometime during the Caps’ road trip, which begins Tuesday night in Nashville (Andre Burakovsky’s 21st birthday).

Trotz said he would like to see Orpik and Johansson practice with the team before getting them back in the lineup. The Caps’ next practice day is scheduled for Wednesday in Minnesota.   

“We play every second day and we’ll have some ice and I think we can get accomplished what we need to get accomplished, so I think (Orpik) is ready for that road trip. Ideally, a couple (practices) would be good, but now that you’re playing every second day you’re not going to have those practices you’d like. We’ll just have to rely on what we have and limit his minutes.”

Meanwhile, AHL callups Paul Carey and Connor Carrick joined the team’s flight to Newark, where the Caps will face the Devils on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Carey and Carrick replaced Zach Sill and Aaron Ness, who were sent back to Hershey so they would not need to clear waivers.  

MORE CAPITALS: Friday Six-Pack: Trade talk, injuries, and are Caps for real?

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Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Sabres will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Sabres game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals (34-20-7) take on the Sabres (18-32-11) Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Capital One Arena.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME ON?

The Capitals-Sabres game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Sabres
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Sabres game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Michal Kempny - Brooks Orpik

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals-Panthers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

CAPITALS-SABRES OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.