At first place in the NHL and well on their way to another postseason berth, the biggest priority for the Capitals is to stay healthy to the postseason. On Wednesday, however, the team recalled forward Zach Sanford from the AHL suggesting perhaps the team did not escape Tuesday's win unscathed.
Washington has been carrying the minimum number of forwards for several weeks which has led to multiple callups from the Hershey Bears. The recall of Sanford appears different, however.
Typically, the team has been recalling players as a reward for good play and prior to a road game. While traveling from Hersey to Washington is no problem, getting from Hershey to most other cities the Caps travel to is more difficult so the team recalls a player to allow him to travel with them and so the team has an extra body in case of an unexpected injury or illness.
But the Caps are at home on Thursday and Saturday and then are off for their bye week meaning there's no need for the extra body unless there is a health concern.
In the first period of Tuesday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Evgeny Kuznetsov took a hard hit into the boards at the end of the first period and was doubled over as he skated off. Jay Beagle also took a puck to the knee during a penalty kill in the third period and skated gingerly to the bench. While both players returned to the game, perhaps concern for their status for Thursday led to Sanford's recall.
Sanford has earned 14 points in 24 games with Hershey this season. The Capitals practice at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday and head coach Barry Trotz will speak to the media afterward. Check back with CSN for more updates throughout the day.
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