Ovechkin, Backstrom reunited at Caps practice

Ovechkin, Backstrom reunited at Caps practice
April 2, 2014, 12:00 pm
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The sun rose on Wednesday, evidence that despite Tuesday night’s demoralizing 5-0 loss to the Dallas Stars there is still a glimmer of hope for your 2013-14 Washington Capitals.

Granted, the Caps may need to run the table in their final six games to land a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, beginning with Friday night’s visit to the New Jersey Devils.

Without an even-strength goal in their last 16 games, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom were reunited on a top line with left wing Mikhail Grabovski. Ovechkin left the ice briefly at the start of practice but returned a few minutes later, ending Connor Carrick’s three minutes of fame on the Caps’ top line.

The Caps practiced with a second line of Jay Beagle between wingers Marcus Johansson and Troy Brouwer. The third line of Jason Chimera, Eric Fehr and Joel Ward remained intact, while Dustin Penner, who sat out Tuesday night’s game with an illness, returned to a fourth line with rookies Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson.

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On the blue line, Jack Hillen and Patrick Wey sat out practice with apparent head injuries -- Hillen’s in a collision with Ovechkin eight days ago and Wey’s in a fight with Nashville’s Rich Clune on Sunday night.

Karl Alzner and John Carlson remained a pair; followed by Dmitry Orlov and Mike Green, and John Erskine and Julien Brouillette. Carrick rotated in as the seventh defenseman.

Silver medalist: Before Tuesday night’s game, four-time U.S. women’s hockey team Olympic medalist Julie Chu presented a $10,000 check to Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation on behalf of Easton Hockey.

The funds will be used by MSE Foundation and the Capitals to provide youth and amateur hockey programs in Maryland, Virginia and Washington with equipment.