As noted at morning skate, Andre Burakovsky looked game-ready after sitting out the last 10 games with an upper-body injury. On Friday morning, Burakovsky was taking rushes on the third line with Chandler Stephenson and Brett Connolly. This was his second consecutive day fully participating with the team with contact. He begun work with his teammates on Tuesday in a light blue non-contact jersey after doing solo skating on his own twice last week.
Video via @TarikNBCS
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“First of all, I’m just gonna go check with the trainers and see if I’m ready or not,” said Burakovsky. “I think I’m still a game-time decision but I’ve been feeling pretty good out there. If I get an opportunity to get back in there and play, I’m definitely gonna have fresh legs. I’ve been in this situation before and every single time I’ve came back I’m skating real well.”
Trotz confirmed to the media that Burakovsky will be a game-time decision but based on how he looked this morning, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him back in the lineup.
Nicklas Backstrom did not participate in the morning skate but did do skating on his own one hour before the Capitals optional skate at Kettler on Thursday. That occasion was his first time back on the ice since injuring his right hand in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Penguins. Backstrom was also a game-time decision for Game 6 of that series but ultimately didn’t play.
During the morning skate, Lars Eller was in Backstrom’s spot centering the second line. After the morning skate, Trotz told the media that Backstrom will be a game-time decision.
“When Nick comes to me, or any top player, I’ll tell you this. Just a general term. If any top player and their staff say he’s ready to go, I don’t think there’s a coach in the National Hockey League that’s not putting a player like Nick Backstrom in the lineup,” said Trotz.
By Michael Marzzacco