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Posted at 02:04 PM ET, 12/16/2011

Matt Hendricks may be nearing return for Capitals

Capitals practice is underway here at MTS Centre in Winnipeg before the team departs for Denver a little later this afternoon.

The lines are largely the same as they were the past four games but with one exception: Matt Hendricks is working as a regular part of the fourth line. The winger has missed four consecutive contests with an injured right knee but it appears as though he could be nearing a return.

Hendricks, Mathieu Perreault and Mike Knuble are sporting white jerseys, which designates the fourth line, and there are no extra skaters for the group. Jay Beagle, who is still recovering from a concussion and is not expected to play on the trip, and Cody Eakin are wearing powder-blue jerseys as the only forwards not on a full line.

Friday marks the sixth consecutive practice day that Hendricks has skated since suffering the injury on Dec. 5 in Florida. In 26 games this season, Hendricks has three assists, 30 penalty minutes, is a minus-1 and averages 10 minutes and 30 seconds on ice per game.

Every player is on the ice — except Mike Green, who is not with the team in Winnipeg because he was visiting a specialist about the strained right groin muscle that has sidelined him for more than a month.

Here are the lines the Caps are using in Winnipeg:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin
Brouwer-Johansson-Halpern
Chimera-Laich-Ward
Hendricks-Perreault-Knuble
Beagle and Eakin extras

Defensive pairings
Alzner-Carlson
Erskine-Wideman
Hamrlik-Orlov
Schultz rotating in on drills

By  |  02:04 PM ET, 12/16/2011

 
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