The Caps got some good news at practice on Saturday: veteran defenseman Matt Niskanen made it through the session unscathed.
That almost assuredly means Niskanen will be back in the lineup for Sunday’s matinee vs. the St. Louis Blues.
“It looks good,” Coach Barry Trotz said of Niskanen’s availability. “Unless he has a setback today, he’s good to go.”
Niskanen missed Tuesday’s game in Carolina with an upper-body injury that he apparently suffered last Saturday against the Devils, a game he finished.
After taking three days off, he skated on his ownWednesday, then went through half of Thursday’s practice while wearing a no-contact jersey. The team was off Friday.
On Saturday, Niskanen took his usual spot next to Dmitry Orlov and appeared to be full-go.
Afterward, the 31-year-old acknowledged that he caught a break with the schedule. Indeed, the team has played just once in the past six days.
“It’s one of those fortunate breaks,” he said. “I could have easily missed five [games], probably, had it been a different part of the schedule.”
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) January 6, 2018
Niskanen, who missed 13 games earlier this season due to an injury, has three goals and eight assists in 27 contests. He’s third on the team in average ice time per game (22:28).