Laich back for Caps tonight

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It appears Brooks Laich will make his season debut for the Capitals tonight when they take on the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

(Update: Laich will indeed play.)

According to the Washington Post, Laich was skating on the Caps’ fourth line with Matt Hendricks and Jay Beagle at this morning’s pre-game skate.

Laich has been sidelined with a groin injury that he suffered in November while playing in Europe during the lockout.

While the 29-year-old will likely be eased back into action, his return is good news for the Caps, who are entering what captain Alex Ovechkin has called their “biggest week.”

Washington plays the red-hot Penguins tonight, then has back-to-back games Thursday and Friday in Winnipeg, and finishes the trip Sunday at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers.

“You know what? It’s our season right now,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said. “We’ve got to win games. We talked collectively as a group that we’ve got to show up for work every night. They’re tough games and we need them.”

UPDATE: To make room for Laich on the active roster, the Caps have put defenseman Tom Poti (back) on IR.