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T.J. Oshie looks poised to return to game action on Saturday

T.J. Oshie looks poised to return to game action on Saturday

The Capitals got Brooks Orpik back on Thursday and look like they may get T.J. Oshie back as well on Saturday for their game against the Philadelphia Flyers. The veteran winger was back on the top line for Friday's practice and Tom Wilson was practicing at his normal spot on the fourth, a sign that the team expects to have Oshie back.

"Felt pretty good so we'll see how ever we go here in the next 24 hours," Oshie said following practice. "I think it's looking pretty good for right now."

"He's getting real close," head coach Barry Trotz said. "Maybe tomorrow."

RELATED: Q&A: Is Shattenkirk the missing piece for a Caps' Cup run?

Oshie has missed four games with an upper-body injury he suffered on Feb. 22. He also missed time earlier in the season for another upper-body issue, but he insisted the two were not related.

"It's something different," Oshie said. "Something that I don't think will affect me going forward at all. Just got to get 100 percent over it before I go back."

Getting to 100 percent is especially important as the Caps prepare for the playoffs.

With the team gearing up for a run at the Stanley Cup, a lingering injury to a top-line winger is a major concern and many may be surprised to see Oshie returning so quickly. But according to him, there's no reason to worry about whether he may be coming back too soon.

"The trainers are the guys that are not rushing me back and I'm the guy trying to get back so I think it balances itself out with them," Oshie said. "No one likes sitting out for whatever reason it is. The good side is that the team's playing well right now, we're winning some games. It's different when the team's not doing well. It's a little easier to sit on the sidelines when the team's winning."

Oshie suffered the most recent injury in a game against Philadelphia. Now it looks like he will be returning Saturday just in time to play...Philadelphia.

MORE CAPITALS: Burakovsky talks cast removal and expected return date

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2018-19 Metropolitan Division preview: Carolina Hurricanes

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USA TODAY Sports

2018-19 Metropolitan Division preview: Carolina Hurricanes

The Capitals have won the Metropolitan Division three straight years. Can they defend their title? Here’s a preview of each team in the division for the 2018-19 season.

Today's team: Carolina Hurricanes

2017-18 Results: 36-35-11, 83 points, sixth in the division. Did not qualify for the playoffs.

Notable acquisitions: F Micheal Ferland, F Andrei Svechnikov, D Dougie Hamilton, D Calvin de Haan, G Petr Mrazek, head coach Rod Brind’Amour

Notable departures: F Elias Lindholm, F Joakim Nordstrom, F Derek Ryan, F Jeff Skinner, F Lee Stempniak, D Noah Hanifin, G Cam Ward, head coach Bill Peters

When they will play the Caps: Dec. 14 in Raleigh, Dec. 27 in Washington, March 26 in Washington, March 28 in Raleigh

Offseason recap: The offseason was one of change for the Hurricanes as new owner Tom Dundon tried to make his mark. Peters and Ron Francis are out, Brind’Amour and Don Waddell are in as coach and general manager. Carolina’s new front office had a busy offseason with a number of splashy moves.

Hanifin, Lindholm and Skinner all will have new homes next season as the Hurricanes traded all three players in two big-time trades. Hanifin and Lindholm netted the team Hamilton, Ferland and a prospect while Skinner brought back a prospect, a second, a third and a sixth-round pick.

In addition, Carolina also added Svechnikov with the second-overall pick in the draft.

Biggest strength: Defense

Carolina was solid defensively last season, it just didn't seem that way because of how bad the goaltending was. Adding de Haan and Hamilton bolsters what was already a formidable blue line.

Biggest weakness: Goaltending

Did I mention how bad their goaltending was last season? Darling and Ward combined for a .909 save percentage, better only than the Buffalo Sabres. Ward put up better numbers (2.73 GAA, .906 save percentage) than Darling (3.18 GAA, .888 save percentage), but he has moved on to the Chicago Blackhawks. To replace him, the Hurricanes picked up Mrazek who also struggled last season (3.03 GAA, .902 save percentage).

So to recap, Ward and Darling both had subpar years, but to replace Ward the Hurricanes picked up a goalie who was worse.

It makes sense that Carolina would want to give Darling another shot at earning the starting job considering they traded for him to be their starter of the future, but just because the goaltending could not get much worse than last season is no guarantee it will be better.

2018-19 season outlook: The Hurricanes enter the season with a lot of question marks.

Can Brind'Amour handle the responsibilities of being a head coach in the NHL with zero head coaching experience at any level? Did they do enough to address their scoring woes? Will someone play like a starting-caliber goalie? Is Dundon breaking the mold of an NHL owner or will his meddling negatively impact the team? Will Hamilton adjust to his new team? Is Svetchnikov ready for a top-line role in his rookie season? Is Sebastian Aho a center?

If they can find positive answers to all of those questions, this is a team that could surprise. More likely, however, there are simply too many issues in Carolina right now for this team to make any real noise.

A new owner, new general manager, new head coach and a new-look roster are too much for one team to adjust to in one season.

2018-19 season prediction: The Hurricanes miss the playoffs and it's not close.

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Heroes on the ice: Every Capitals player's superhero character

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USA TODAY Sports, Marvel and DC Comics

Heroes on the ice: Every Capitals player's superhero character

Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's the Washington Capitals!

It's not hard to picture your favorite athletes as superheroes. What the Caps are able to do on the ice seems almost superhuman at times.

Heck, they even have uniforms!

SEE EVERY CAPITALS PLAYER'S SUPERHERO CHARACTER HERE

But the similarities don't just end with the physical attributes and abilities. When you begin to really think about each player, you can see a lot of similarities between each of them and some well-known superheroes.

If each Caps player was a superhero, which one would they be? Check out each player's superhero character here.

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