John Carlson, the star Washington Capitals defensemen, looks to be a go for Game 2 of the team's second-round 2011 NHL Playoffs series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Carlson suffered an injury late in the second period of Friday's 4-2 Game 1 loss, and barely played in the third period. But at the team's morning skate on Sunday, Carlson said he would have been able to play then if needed.
#Caps Carlson says he feels "great", says it was a coach's decision he didn't play in the 3rd last game
This is really good news for the Capitals, who desperately need a win in Game 2 and would have been in big trouble if Carlson wasn't there to provide it. Carlson has emerged as a Calder Trophy candidate in his first full season in the NHL, anchoring the Capitals' blue line and keying their defensive improvement. Not having him against Tampa Bay's offensive firepower would have been bad.