Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
 
SHARE

Capitals vs Rangers

Capitals hoping to have Ward back for opener

Tuesday, 04.30.2013 / 3:08 PM

By Ben Raby - NHL.com Correspondent / Capitals-Rangers series blog

Share with your Friends


Capitals-Rangers series blog
Capitals hoping to have Ward back for opener

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Forward Joel Ward could return to the Washington Capitals' lineup for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, according to coach Adam Oates.

Ward missed the final nine games of the regular season with a left knee injury he suffered April 7 after blocking a shot from Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Sami Salo.

Ward is targeting a return for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Thursday against the New York Rangers and practiced with his teammates Tuesday for the second straight day.

"You know what, it was really encouraging that he took a full practice at full speed," Oates said. "He said he felt good. As long as there are no setbacks [Wednesday], yeah, I expect him."

With the Capitals and Rangers not starting their first-round series until Thursday, it provides Ward with extra time to recover and practice with his teammates.

"I was pretty surprised that we started on Thursday, but it will definitely be a positive for me," Ward said. "I think each day has been very important, so I've been saying my prayers again and just kind of keeping my fingers crossed and every day seems to get a little bit better."

Ward had eight goals and 20 points in 39 games in the regular season and saw time on both special-teams units.

Quote of the Day

[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday