Martin Erat returns to Caps lineup tonight


The Capitals are going to be without Brooks Laich for an unknown amount of time, but that loss will be softened by the return of Martin Erat tonight against Tampa Bay.

Coach Adam Oates confirmed Erat’s return to action to reporters this morning and as’s Chuck Gormley hears it from Caps defenseman Mike Green, his return comes at the right time.

“It’s huge,” Caps defenseman Mike Green said. “It’s a great move. It’s exactly what we need. He’s going to be one of those guys who contributes down the road big-time in the playoffs.”

Erat missed three games after being hit from behind in just his second game with the Caps. Washington has a two-point lead on Winnipeg in the Southeast Division race but have a game in hand on the Jets.

If the Caps had to go without Laich and Erat, their setup on the left wing would be, to say the least, dire. It also would’ve been a throwback to the start of the season when things didn’t go quite so well for the team.