After missing the last four games, the final three regular season games plus Game 1 of the Washington Capitals first round series with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Jay Beagle will finally make his return for Game 2 tonight.
Beagle didn’t practice during the final week of the regular season but did some on ice-training on his own during the practices last Monday through Wednesday. Despite being doubtful for Game 1, Beagle still participated in the morning skate while wearing a light blue non-contact jersey. Saturday was his first time fully practicing on the ice and Barry Trotz spoke after that skate about Beagle’s impact.
“Jay is probably one of those guys that you don’t value as much until you don’t have him,” Barry Trotz told the media after Saturday’s practice. “As a coach, I have a lot of value for him… Beagle doesn’t put up high numbers but he gives you everything he’s got but the one place he can make a difference is on the face-off circle. It’s all about starting with the puck. He give us an advantage in that more than any guys in the league.”
Oshie vs. Beagle in the face-off dot pic.twitter.com/2ghVZLpCu2
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) April 15, 2018
Beagle’s presence was missed on the face-off dot. The Blue Jackets had the edge in face-offs in Game 1 55% to 45%. Beagle led the Caps this season with a face-off percentage of 58.5%. Beagle will skate on the fourth line tonight alongside Alex Chiasson and Chandler Stephenson. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.
By Michael Marzzacco