As Jay Beagle stepped out on to the ice for the first time in three weeks Saturday with the rest of the Capitals wrapping up their morning skate, he received high fives from teammates and members of the training staff.
Beagle, who has not played since suffering a concussion when he was knocked out by Pittsburgh’s Arron Asham on Oct. 13, did some light skating for 15 minutes and said immediately afterward that he felt “great.” It’s a small step but in a slow-going recovery process it’s an important one.
“I tried to skate about three weeks ago, skated four or five days and then I had a setback and we rested,” Beagle said. “Built my heart rate back up with the bike the last week. I was at that point again where I got to skate today and I was so excited I couldn’t even sleep last night.”
Beagle wore a heart monitor while on the ice Saturday, which allows him and the team’s athletic training staff to gauge the correlation between concussion symptoms and increased exertion level. When he first tried to skate regularly, the increased exertion levels resulted in dizziness and other symptoms.
The 26-year-old winger remains optimistic that he will be able to return to the lineup and said that he felt “100 percent better” from when he suffered the setback three weeks ago.
“Hopefully everything goes good and I get to skate tomorrow and progressively keep going and keep working on getting the heart rate up more and more,” Beagle said. “When it gets past that certain point where it wasn’t so good three weeks ago hopefully my head [will] feel great and I have no symptoms and I can get back to playing.”
— Michal Neuvirth was the first goaltender off the ice and he will get the start against the Senators Saturday.
— Mike Green did not skate on Saturday but worked out on the ice six of the previous seven days. Green is expected to miss an 11th consecutive game with a strained right groin muscle.