The Washington Capitals practiced for the second straight day on Tuesday before they’re set to host the Buffalo Sabres. Besides Alex Ovechkin briefly leaving practice for a few minutes and returning minutes later, the Capitals had one notable absence.
Veteran center Nic Dowd missed the skate after being a full participant in practice the day prior. Dowd returned from injury on November 10 after almost a month out of the lineup and has played in the team’s last four games.
Dowd’s absence was a planned one as Capitals PR told reporters he was taking a maintenance day. The 33-year-old pivot has been transparent about his need to do regular upkeep on the injury issue that has seemingly plagued his last two seasons.
The Huntsville, Alabama native had surgery on his core over the summer.
“Looking every day to build on the last one and not have any setbacks,” Dowd said during Training Camp. “I think a lot of maintenance, a lot of rehab, a lot of warming up skating getting ready before practice. Stuff like that is probably going to follow me now for the rest of my career. Just how it works as you get a little older. It’s a tough game, so it’s kind of to be expected. I’ve been fortunate so far.”
Dowd looked no worse for wear at Monday’s practice and later jumped back on the ice for a skate that his foundation Dowd’s Crowd hosted in partnership with Charlie Lindgren’s foundation Lindy’s Lineup and local nonprofit So Kids SOAR.
The fun skate allowed those with disabilities to get on the ice and enjoy their day with some members of the Capitals roster.
Dowd has locked down his normal fourth-line center role since his return to the lineup. In six games, he has one goal which was the game-winner against the New York Islanders 10 days ago.
The Capitals are still carrying two extra forwards and have plenty of center depth after Evgeny Kuznetsov came back from his illness on Monday.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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