The Capitals have won four straight games despite missing several key players from their lineup. With a four-game road trip to the West Coast on tap, Washington is hoping to get two injured forwards back on the ice before heading back to D.C.
Right winger T.J. Oshie and center Nic Dowd both traveled with the team to California ahead of its matchup with the Anaheim Ducks, head coach Peter Laviolette said on 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies on Tuesday morning. Though Laviolette doesn’t expect either player to suit up against the Ducks, their presence in Anaheim bodes well for their returns over the next week.
“We traveled with Oshie and Dowd and the fact that they’re with us means that they’re starting to join us now and starting to come back in the regular mix of things,” Laviolette said. “Don’t hold me to this but I don’t think you’ll see them in the first game or two. But they’re with us and that’s a good thing.”
However, the Capitals are still without both center Nicklas Backstrom and right winger Anthony Mantha. Backstrom has yet to play this season after undergoing hip surgery over the offseason. Mantha landed on Injured Reserve in early November and doesn’t have a timetable for a return following a procedure on his shoulder.
“Nick Backstrom is not with us on the trip and so he’s still not down that road where he’s going to join the team,” Laviolette said. “Mantha stayed behind as well, obviously he’s more of a long-term thing.”
After playing the Ducks on Tuesday, the Capitals will take on the Los Angeles Kings (Wednesday), San Jose Sharks (Saturday) and Seattle Kraken (Sunday) to complete their road trip.