The Washington Capitals are in Ottawa to take on the Senators in a battle of North American capital cities. The Caps did not host a morning skate before their date with the Sens, but the team’s scratches and goaltenders did get some work in on Thursday morning inside Canadian Tire Centre.
One of those players on the ice was Nic Dowd. Dowd missed the Capitals’ last practice at home with a non-COVID illness before setting off on this trip up north.
The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir provided the reporting from Ottawa.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) December 22, 2022
A sickness of some sort has been going around the Caps’ locker room in recent weeks. Forward Sonny Milano missed a game against the Dallas Stars a week ago due to being sick.
Head coach Peter Laviolette was asked on Wednesday about Dowd’s potential to play in the Thursday night matchup.
“I hope so,” Laviolette said. “It was an illness, non-COVID. It’s been going around. A couple guys have had it. Hopefully, he’s back.”
Dowd has played in 33 of 34 games this season. The only game he missed was against the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 17 due to a lower-body injury. In his last outing, he scored two goals and tallied an assist on the eventual overtime winner against the Detroit Red Wings.
The team’s netminding duo joined Dowd on the ice as well. Both Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren are expected to make a start during the back-to-back. The Caps will play the Senators on Thursday and then quickly fly home for a date against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.
“They’re most likely going to split the games,” Laviolette said Wednesday.
Once Kuemper gets his start, it will be his first game action since December 3 when he left a game against the Calgary Flames early due to being elbowed in the head. Lindgren has filled in valiantly for the traditional number one, posting a 7-2 record with a 2.14 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage in eight December appearances.
“He was on fire in there,” Kuemper said Wednesday. “I think the team really rallied around that. I was super happy for him, happy for our group. We need the points. It was nice to see the guys go on a roll.
“I’m excited to be back on the ice,” he continued. “It’s never fun watching. A little bit easier when the team was playing so well and having so much success. You don’t feel guilty you’re not out there helping. Good to be healthy again, feeling good, and ready to play.”
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.