Photo: Patrick Smith
With everything locked up and only days to wait until their first round playoff matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers, the Capitals experienced injury scares at the worst time of the season.
First, Jay Beagle went down after blocking a shot with his left ankle during Saturday’s win over St. Louis. Beagle was scratched for Sunday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks, necessitating an emergency recall of Hershey forward Zach Sill. Beagle, however, is set to play Thursday night. Jason Chimera is expected be in the lineup as well after leaving practice for a few minutes the day before because his “mom called.”
But there is one unknown: the status of TJ Oshie.
Beagle during Saturday’s morning skate. (Photo: Chris Gordon)
On Saturday morning, Jay Beagle took to the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex to the cheers of his teammates. He spent 45 minutes skating with the Caps and working with coaches in a non-contact jersey, his first practice with the team since breaking his left hand in a game against the Buffalo Sabres on December 30. After launching into a soliloquy to me on his Hotmail account, Beags took questions from reporters.
“It’s fun just to be out there,” Beagle said as his teammates prepared for the Devils-Capitals game, the 21st game Beagle will miss due to his injury. “Skating all by yourself gets to be tough after a little bit. It was good skating with the guys.”
On Wednesday, Jay Beagle suffered a freak upper body injury against the Buffalo Sabres. Head coach Barry Trotz said after the game Beagle would be out “for an extended period of time.”
This morning, the Caps gave an update on the third-line center’s condition.
As the Capitals finished off their ninth straight win on Wednesday, the sellout crowd roared in approval of the NHL’s best team. But 20 minutes later, there were only hushed gasps from the press corps as head coach Barry Trotz explained how costly Washington’s 28th had been.
Jay Beagle, who left the game with 5:52 left in the second period, will need upper-body surgery. Though Trotz refused to say what the injury was, the coach said Washington’s third line center, who has tallied six goals this season, will be out “for an extended period of time.” He is expected to be placed on injured reserve shortly.
Jay Beagle, the man who put the Caps up 2-1 in the second period, was Hockey Night In Canada’s guest during the second intermission. Yes, Beags got the esteemed HNIC towel.
Usually intermission interviews are irrelevant and chock full of cliches. Instead, Beags revealed a tasty nugget about what the Caps did on their flight home from Raleigh Monday night.
Tom Wilson showed how hard his fists could be in the first period. In the second, Willy Baby showed his hands could be soft too.
After racing to a turnover in the Habs offensive zone, Wilson flung a pass behind his body to a trailing Jay Beagle. Beags skated to a better shooting angle before fling a wrist shot past Habs goaltender Mike Condon. Craig Laughlin called the goal, Jay Beagle’s “best shot of his career.”
Barry Trotz gave Jay Beagle and Jason Chimera a new linemate tonight in Stan Galiev. That change paid immediate dividends. Like they scored literally on their first shift together.
After Galiev flung a hard, poor-angled shot attempt from the corner, Beagle picked up the rebound and scored at no angle past Ben Bishop.
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