CHICAGO -- Brooks Laich is expected to return from a shoulder injury Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center (8:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US), and the veteran center is eager to help the Washington Capitals end their losing ways.
Laich was injured Oct. 18 against the Florida Panthers, and since that time the Capitals (4-5-3) are 1-5-1 and without a win in their previous five games.
"For three weeks I've been dying to get in the lineup," said Laich, who centered forwards Jason Chimera and Joel Ward during the Capitals morning skate. "Especially when you're losing, it's terrible to sit out and watch your team go through a tough patch. It's terrible to sit out anytime, but when you're going through a tough patch, it's even tougher to watch."
The game against Chicago is a prelude to the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, which will be played Jan. 1, 2015 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
The Capitals, however, have more pressing concerns at the moment. They haven't won since Oct. 25 at the Calgary Flames, and first-year coach Barry Trotz has expressed frustration recently, calling for the Capitals to start "playing the right way."