The Capitals have been in need of extra help up front for some time and now they’re about to get just that.
Forward Mikhail Grabovski will return to the Caps lineup tonight against the Nashville Predators after being out since Feb. 28 with a sprained left ankle. As Katie Carrera of The Washington Post shares, coach Adam Oates is going to keep a close eye on his minutes.
“Ease him into it slow and see how he is. It’s been a long time now,” Oates said. “We’ll see how he is and how everybody else is. We played yesterday and [Nashville] didn’t, maybe he’s fresh and flying, maybe he gets more minutes because of that. As the game goes along I’ll kind of monitor it.”
In other words, he’ll play things by ear.
With Grabovski out, Oates has been doing some interesting things at center to try and find balance on his lines.
Oates put Jay Beagle on the top line between Alex Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson and moved Nicklas Backstrom to the second line. Grabovski had been flipping between the second and third line before he was injured.
Getting Grabovski back in could do wonders for the Capitals playoff hopes as they sit two points behind Detroit and Columbus for the two wild card spots.