BALLSTON, Va. - The Washington Capitals returned to practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex Monday after a 1-1-0 two-game road trip in preparation for Tuesday's game against the Nashville Predators. Returning with them was some good news.
Jay Beagle, out since October 13 with a concussion, has been cleared to fully participate in practice, including contact. Beagle suffered the concussion in a third period fight with the Pittsburgh Penguins' Arron Asham.
"It was a good day," Beagle said. "It's a little tough to jump in there when you know the guys are going to be playing tomorrow, so I let them get as many reps. If they needed me, then I was going to jump in there for them."
Beagle said that his teammates gave him "little bumps" to familiarize him with taking contact again, but he did not take full body checks. Beagle also said there is no timetable for his return.
Beagle skated on the fourth line as an extra forward, but the forward lines in general were much different than they have been lately:
Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Alex Ovechkin
Troy Brouwer - Jeff Halpern - Alexander Semin
Jason Chimera - Brooks Laich - Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks - Mathieu Perreault - Mike Knuble - Beagle
After practice, head coach Dale Hunter said that the switch was to generate new sources of offense.
"Sometimes, if it's the same guys all the time, it gets stagnant," Hunter said.
In other injury news, Mike Green skated for over 30 minutes before practice, but did not participate in practice. Hunter said that he hadn't spoken to Green yet, but said he's feeling better. Green is listed as "day-to-day" with a strained right groin muscle.