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Mike Green and his wonky groin return tonight

Mike Green

Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green (52) is cheered on by fans after his game-winning goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the overtime period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, in Washington. The Capitals won 4-3 in overtime. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)


Caps fans might not recognize him, but Mike Green returns to their lineup tonight against Calgary.

Green has been out since November 11 with a tough groin injury. Green originally hurt his ankle in late October and missed nearly a month with that injury. Upon his return in November, he played in just the one game on the 11th before hurting his groin.

Now he returns to a Caps team that looks like it’s starting to get things turned around in the right direction. With Alex Ovechkin scoring goals and leading the offense while the defense and goaltending are stiffening up, Green’s return could be the spark their offense and defense needs to begin yet another second half run to the playoffs.

With Green back in the lineup, that could mean bad things for Jeff Schultz on the back line. Schultz has had a rough season seeing himself wind up a healthy scratch on occasion and with Dmitry Orlov playing well, Schultz shapes up to be the odd man out. Then again, Dale Hunter could choose to go with seven defensemen as well just to be different.