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Capitals' Orlov 'ready to play' after sidelined for year

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Dmitry Orlov did not play for the Washington Capitals last season after sustaining a wrist injury in the offseason, but the 24-year old defenseman said he is healthy and excited to play in the NHL for the first time since April 2014.

"I can shoot, I can do everything," Orlov told the Washington Post in remarks published Wednesday. "I feel good. I feel fine. I'm ready to play."

Orlov broke his wrist during the IIHF World Championship in May 2014 and was expected to need six months to recover, but complications caused him to need more time. When he was ready to return in April 2015, the Capitals had no room for him.

"Yeah, it's life, it's hard, everybody gets injured," Orlov said. "My injury was longer than expected, so right now, [it] doesn't matter for me what's happened, I just need to be focused on this season."

The Capitals begin training camp Sept. 17. Their first preseason game is Sept. 21, and the regular season starts Oct. 10 at Verizon Center against the New Jersey Devils.

Orlov had three goals and 11 points in 54 games with the Capitals during the 2013-14 season and has six goals and 31 points in 119 NHL games since making his debut on Nov. 21, 2011.

He can become an unrestricted free agent after this season and is expected to play more with the departure of defenseman Mike Green, who signed with the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent.

Orlov played in three late-season games for Hershey in the American Hockey League.

"I just want to play. I missed whole season and I want to play," Orlov said. "When I played in Hershey, I was so excited to be at the game and be in the situation I like to be. Just play, try to help the team, try to play better every game, try to get my confidence back and just play and enjoy."

Capitals defenseman John Carlson has been training with Orlov.

"He's been here pretty much all summer with me too," Carlson said. "He looks better than ever. He was here last year too, so he went home for a little bit (to Russia), but by the time he got back, it was a crazy difference between those couple of months and healing and getting stronger, whatever protocol he had.

"I think he looks great, skating great, handles the puck just as great as he ever used to and his shot's definitely there again."

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