The Capitals reassigned winger Jakub Vrana on Friday morning, the team announced.
The move could mean that Andre Burakovsky, who has been sidelined since Feb. 9 with a broken right hand, is ready to return to game action.
Burakovsky is slated to take part in his first full contact practice later Friday.
Afterward, the Caps are scheduled to depart for Tampa, where they’ll face the Lightning on Saturday night at Amalie Arena.
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As the roster stands now, Burakovsky, who has been on long-term injured reserve, would be the 12th forward.
If Burakovsky does indeed return, he could give the Caps a much needed boost offensively.
As we detailed here following Thursday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Predators, the Caps have averaged just 2.0 goals per game over the last eight contests.
And although Brett Connolly scored Washington’s only goal against Nashville, the third line has slumped production-wise since Burakovsky exited the lineup 15 games ago.
Prior to getting hurt, Burakovsky was enjoying the best stretch of his career, having produced six goals and seven assists in the 12 prior games.
Vrana, meantime, had the primary assist on Connolly’s goal on Thursday as the Caps fell for the fifth time in six games (1-4-1).
On this latest NHL stint, Vrana produced two goals and an assist in nine games.