Tom Wilson is still out of the lineup due to a suspension, but the Capitals’ defense at least will be at full strength for Wednesday’s game as Michal Kempny will return to the lineup.
Kempny has been out with a concussion he suffered on Sept. 25 after taking a hit to the head from St. Louis Blues Forward Robert Bortuzzo.
“I never had a concussion before so I didn’t know what to expect,” Kempny said after Tuesday’s practice. “Some headaches. It was something a little bit weird.”
“I had to listen to my doctors,” he added. “I had probably maybe three, four days I didn’t do anything and then I started work out and a little bit like body weights, stuff like that.”
Kempny finally returned to the ice on Saturday in a non-contact jersey for practice but was back to full contact the next day. He told reporters Tuesday that he feels back to normal.
With no setbacks since his return, he is set to make his debut in the Stanley Cup rematch on Wednesday against the Vegas Golden Knights.
“Just his speed and his skating and all the things we've grown to really like about his game have been apparent the last few days,” Todd Reirden said, “Particularly the two work days we had before the day off and then today he looked really sharp. You never really know with those type of upper-body injuries how it's going to work out, but I've been really happy with how he's responded and he's ready to go for the moment.”
Kempny skated next to his regular partner, John Carlson, on the top pairing. His return bumped Christian Djoos down to the third pairing on the right alongside Brooks Orpik.
It’s only fitting that Wednesday will be the first time the Caps will dress its full blue line, the same blue line that they used in the Stanley Cup Final, just in time for Vegas’ visit to Washington.
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