Nikitin is expected to return to the lineup for Thursday night's home game against Calgary.
Acquired from the St. Louis Blues last year, Nikitin has two assists and six penalty minutes in seven games this season. He set career highs in goals, assists, points and games played last season with the Blues and Blue Jackets with seven goals and 25 assists in 61 games.
I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.
— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh