The Capitals enter Wednesday's contest against the Nashville Predators having not played a game in 10 days after a spike in coronavirus cases across the NHL forced the sport to cut to its holiday break early.
However, Washington is finally back in action and both Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov are expected to suit up after they were placed in the NHL's COVID protocol earlier this month. The Capitals (18-6-7) will look to build on their NHL-best point total of 43 while the Predators (19-10-1) attempt to solidify their place in the Stanley Cup playoff picture.
Here's everything you need to know before puck drop.
CAPITALS VS. PREDATORS HOW TO WATCH
What: Washington Capitals vs. Nashville Predators
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
When: Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, at 7 p.m. ET
TV Channel: Capitals vs. Predators will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports channel finder)
CAPITALS VS. PREDATORS TV SCHEDULE
6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live (LIVE)
7:00 PM: Capitals vs. Hurricanes (LIVE)
9:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live (LIVE)
CAPITALS VS. PREDATORS WHAT TO WATCH
From NBC Sports Washington's J.J. Regan:
"Coming out of the Christmas break, the Capitals recalled defenseman Michal Kempny and goalie Pheonix Copley on Monday. The team also reassigned defensemen Lucas Johansen and Alex Alexeyev as well as forward Brett Leason to the taxi squad. The NHL announced the return of taxi squads on Sunday and the Caps wasted little time taking advantage with multiple call-ups." Read more.
"After two major injuries, a freak accident with an ice scraper, playing in the pandemic and getting sent to the AHL, you could understand if Michal Kempny felt bitter about how the last few years have gone for him. But that's not who he is. Instead, as Kempny was recalled on Monday to the NHL for the first time this season, he was incredibly thankful..." Read more.
CAPITALS VS. PREDATORS PLAYERS TO WATCH
Capitals: Evgeny Kuznetsov, C (28 games, 9 goals, 21 assists): While Alex Ovechkin gets all the attention, Evgeny Kuznetsov has quietly been putting together an All-Star season alongside the Great 8 on the first line. His return to the lineup will be a huge boost for the Caps.
Predators: Mikael Granlund, C (28 games, 5 goals, 22 assists): The Predators will be down top point-getter Roman Josi due to COVID protocol, putting pressure on players such as Mikael Granlund to step up and produce some goals.