Washington Capitals winger Kip Miller made a speedy recovery from a hand injury and returned to the lineup for last night's game against Buffalo at MCI Center, while defenseman Ken Klee remains out with back spasms but is expected to play Saturday night.
Miller suffered his injury after being slashed in Saturday's game against Detroit and he missed Sunday's practice and Monday's game against Montreal. Miller was limited to non-contact activities at Tuesday's practice before visiting a hand specialist that afternoon. That doctor confirmed what the team's medical staff believed -- the injury was minor -- and Miller opted to play last night after being able to maneuver his stick during warmups.
"We got clearance from the doctors," Coach Bruce Cassidy said. "[The visit to the specialist] was just for his personal mental health and both doctors told him there was not anything more there. . . . If he can't handle his stick and shoot and pass than he's not going to be an asset for us, so we'll see how he gets through it."
Miller returned to his spot on the top line with Robert Lang and Jaromir Jagr, while Dainius Zubrus, who had been skating in Miller's place, shifted back to the second line.
Klee missed his third straight game suffering from back problems but participated in the morning skate and is in less pain than he was a few days ago.
Berry Getting Noticed
Defenseman Rick Berry played his third straight game after being scratched from 16 straight games and continues to impress. . . . Winger Josh Green was scratched for the sixth straight game. Recently recalled enforcer Stephen Peat was also scratched. . . . Defenseman Jean-Francois Fortin remains on the injured reserve list with back spasms, but is practicing and could be activated at any time. When he is activated it is most likely that Peat would be returned to the minors. . . . A sure sign that the trade deadline is approaching: For the third straight game scouts from at least five teams were in attendance at MCI Center. . . . The Capitals are scheduled to take today off after Sunday's respite was canceled in favor of practice in the wake of Saturday's blowout loss to the Red Wings.