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Capitals winger Andre Burakovsky has cast removed, recovery remains on schedule

Capitals winger Andre Burakovsky has cast removed, recovery remains on schedule

Andre Burakovsky’s recovery from injury reached a milestone this week: the Capitals winger had the cast removed from his right hand.

“Things are definitely moving in the right direction,” Burakovsky told CSN in his first public comments since getting hurt. “I’m on schedule. But [a return date] is a doctor’s decision; there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s going to be pretty soon, a couple of weeks.”

Burakovsky was injured while blocking a shot against Detroit on Feb. 9. He’s missed the last eight games.

The 22-year-old winger said he knew right away that he was injured badly.

“I was in a lot of pain,” Burakovsky said. “[Head Athletic Trainer] Greg Smith came over and he was like, ‘Okay, let me see your hand.’ Tom Wilson was sitting right next to me and he was like, ‘Oof. That’s not good at all.’”

He added: “You could see, if you were looking close, my whole knuckle was kinda destroyed, was gone sort of. So I had like four knuckles.”

Burakovsky said he opted against surgery since a procedure would not have significantly reduced his recovery time.

“It’s a part of the game,” he said. “Injuries are coming all the time. It just sucked it happened when I was on fire, sort of. I was feeling really good. I was playing good. Everything was good. And obviously, our line was doing really good.”

In the 12 games prior to the Detroit game, Burakovsky had registered six goals and seven assists.

If there’s a silver lining to the injury, it's that Burakovsky expects to have fresh legs when he returns to the lineup later this month.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I can’t wait to get back in the lineup and play games again. It’s really tough to sit out and watch the guys play. It’s not fun. I’m going to be ready to get back in and I’m going to be hungry.”

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Alex Ovechkin makes kids' day with street hockey surprise

Alex Ovechkin makes kids' day with street hockey surprise

Kids part of the American Special Hockey Association had no idea they were going to meet one of the NHL's biggest stars during a game of street hockey on Friday afternoon.

But that's what happened when Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin surprised a handful of youngsters playing in a tournament in front of Capital One Arena.

Ovechkin wasn't just there for pictures and autographs, he also joined in on the action for the next hour and did not hold back in one of his last major games before before the regular season.

MORE: ANOTHER TOP-SIX AUDITION FOR VRANA

ASHA and Ovechkin have been hosting events together for four consecutive seasons. The organization was created in 2000 and enables players of all ages who have developmental disabilities to enjoy the sport of hockey.

You can watch the full video of Ovechkin's surprise above.

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Jakub Vrana gets another top-six audition in the Caps' home preseason opener

Jakub Vrana gets another top-six audition in the Caps' home preseason opener

Here’s how Coach Barry Trotz will have his players line up Friday night vs. the Blues...and a few notes about forward combos and D pairings you'll see at Capital One Arena:

Forwards
Vrana – Backstrom – Oshie
Burakovsky – Boyd – Smith-Pelly
Stephenson – Eller – Wilson
Bau – Graovac – Peluso

Defense
Johansen – Carlson
Djoos – Chorney
Ness – Lewington

Goalies
Holtby
Copley

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  • After scoring a power play goal while skating on a line with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov on Wednesday, Jakub Vrana is getting an audition on the other top-six line.
  • Stephenson is the only player to appear in all three preseason games. Tonight, he’s skating on the wing after playing center in the first two contests. He’s a prospect the Caps are hoping makes the opening night roster but the reason he’s played so much is because fourth-line center Jay Beagle is “trying to manage his body a little bit,” according to Trotz.
  • Beagle has not played yet this preseason, but Trotz said he’s been practicing and scrimmaging full-go. “He’s not hurt,” Trotz said. “He’s got some tightness. We’re going to work through the tightness and he’ll be fine. There’s no reason to rush guys.”
  • Winger Mathias Bau wasn’t originally slated to see any game action, but the Denmark native impressed Trotz so much in a scrimmage earlier this week that the coach found a spot in the lineup for him. Bau, the tallest player in camp at 6-7, is skating on a line with Graovac (6-5) and Peluso (6-3).  “He’s gotten better and better,” Trotz said of Bau, who signed an AHL deal with Hershey this summer. “So he deserves to get in a game. He’s been standing out. Originally I had another guy in there but Bau has sorta overtaken him.”
  • Peluso is another player who is emerging as a candidate to earn a spot on the fourth line. This will mark his second straight preseason appearance. 
  • Matt Niskanen and Dmitry Orlov will make their preseason debut Saturday vs. the Hurricanes, according to Trotz, who has already said they’ll open the regular season as the top pair.

 

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