BUFFALO—The Caps could be on the verge of getting back one or more of their injured players, according to Coach Barry Trotz.
On Tuesday morning in Arlington, defenseman Matt Niskanen and forwards Brett Connolly and Tyler Graovac went through a vigorous skate that included some game-like situations. All three have been sidelined for with upper body injuries.
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“They’re all day-to-day,” Trotz said prior to Washington’s 3-1 loss in Buffalo. “They’re getting from week-to-week to day-to-day type of situations.”
“So,” the coach added, “they’re getting their conditioning ramped up. They’re feeling better from whatever injuries they have. Hopefully we’ll start getting one at a time into the lineup here.”
Although the Caps have won three of their last four games, their depth has been tested by the absences, particularly Niskanen's. The team’s No. 1 blueliner has been sidelined since Oct. 13.
Connolly has been out since leaving the game in Vancouver on Oct. 26, while Graovac has been sidelined since Oct. 17. It's possible Gravoac is slightly ahead of the others; he participated in Monday's morning skate.
The team is also without Andre Burakovsky, but he’s recovering from surgery on his left thumb and will be on the shelf until next month.
After the loss to the Sabres, Trotz had more positive news on the injury front: the lower body ailment that caused rookie defenseman Madison Bowey to be a late scratch is not considered to be serious.
“He went through warmup and was able to go,” Trotz said. “We felt that long term…that we didn’t want to risk [it]. So we went with a little bit of a cautious approach.”
The Caps did not practice on Wednesday. They'll return to the ice at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday for practice in Arlington.