WASHINGTON - Carolina Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov sported a yellow, non-contact jersey and a full-face cage at the team's morning skate on Saturday.
He's not quite ready to rejoin the lineup, but he's got his hopes set on a Game 6 return in Raleigh.
"I feel pretty good," he said.
"He's come along really well," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said.
Svechnikov remains in the concussion protocol after being injured in a fight with Alexander Ovechkin in Game 3.
Now, about that fight. A lot was said and speculated afterward, and Svechnikov got to tell his side of the story on Saturday.
Video: Andrei Svechnikov: "I'm not a superhero"
"It was back and forth all series and then we just fight," he said. "It sometimes happens in hockey."
Who asked who?
"[Ovechkin] did ask me first for a fight," Svechnikov said. "I'm not a superhero asking first for a fight."
Svechnikov agreed to drop the gloves.
"I just want to stand up for myself," he said.
Ovechkin caught Svechnikov with a right shot square in the chin, and the dazed Canes' rookie had to be helped off the ice. The two countrymen had a brief conversation after the game.
"He called me right after the game. I talked with him a little bit," Svechnikov said. "I said sometimes that happens. You never know."
Svechnikov, who scored two goals for the Hurricanes in a Game 1 loss in Washington, has been sidelined since Monday. By all accounts, though, he's feeling good, the situation perhaps looking much worse than it turned out to be, thankfully.
His on- and off-ice work has been ramping up, and though he won't play in Saturday's Game 5, a return on Monday in front of the home crowd in Game 6 isn't out of the question.