After 15-game absence, Burakovsky back for Caps

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Losers in five of their last six, the Capitals will get a nice piece of the lineup back tomorrow when they take on the Bolts in Tampa Bay.

Andre Burakovsky, out since Feb. 9 with a hand injury, will draw back in on Saturday at Amalie Arena, he confirmed this afternoon. Based on today’s line rushes, he’ll skate on the club’s third line next to Lars Eller and Brett Connolly.

Washington’s first-round pick in ’13, Burakovsky was having a solid year prior to getting hurt. He had 11 goals and 29 points through 52 games, and was on pace to break his career high of 38 points (set last year, in 79 contests).

With the 22-year-old back in the fold, Washington will be as healthy as imaginable heading into the stretch drive. There are no significant injuries to speak of, and trade deadline pickup Kevin Shattenkirk has returned to the fold since serving his two-game suspension for charging.

It’ll be interesting to see how head coach Barry Trotz opts to utilize his depth in the coming weeks. The Caps have a two-point lead on Columbus for first place in the league, though the Jackets do have a game in hand.

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