The Washington Capitals used caution with forwards Marcus Johansson and Tom Wilson after both were injured in the preseason. But they are both expected to play Sunday in the final exhibition game before the season opener on Thursday.
Wilson suffered an upper-body injury in the preseason opener against the Carolina Hurricanes, and after skating with the team in practices with limited contact, he said he felt healthy on Saturday, going through a contact drill at the end of practice. He was on a line with center Jay Beagle and Daniel Winnik in practice.
The hit Wilson was injured on:
“It’s just kind of a nagging thing that we’ve been waiting to feel kind of 100 percent,” Wilson said. “It’s one of those things where if I don’t do that, it’ll just kind of nag the whole year. Obviously, don’t want that.”
Johansson suffered a lower-body injury in last Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders. Saturday’s practice was his first skating with the whole team since the injury. Asked if he thinks he’ll be ready for the season opener on Thursday at the Pittsburgh Penguins, Johansson said he expects to be. He was on a line with center Lars Eller and Zach Sanford on Saturday.
Here’s how Johansson was injured:
“You want to play, and you want to be out there and get ready and get some games in before the season starts,” Johansson said. “It’s not ideal, but it is what it is. I guess it’s better now than later.”
Here’s what the lineup looked like in practice on Saturday:
Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-T.J. Oshie
Andre Burakovsky-Nicklas Backstrom-Justin Williams
Zach Sanford-Lars Eller-Marcus Johansson
Daniel Winnik-Jay Beagle-Tom Wilson
Karl Alzner-Matt Niskanen
Dmitry Orlov-John Carlson
Brooks Orpik-Nate Schmidt