Washington Capitals team reporter Tarik El-Bashir with the Monumental Sports Network has shared a string of injury updates following the team’s Thursday morning skate. Per El-Bashir, Nick Jensen and Sonny Milano are expected to return to the lineup, recovering from a lower-body injury and illness respectively. The team also saw progress in Nic Dowd’s return from an upper-body injury and Martin Fehervary’s lower-body injury, though both players are set to remain out – as is veteran T.J. Oshie. Finally, Tom Wilson’s return is still undetermined, as he deals to personal matters. Washington’s next game is on Friday when they’ll host the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Capitals are being forced to stay flexible with their forward group while they grapple with the absences of four different players. This has given Michael Sgarbossa an extended look in the lineup, scoring four points in 11 games as a de facto injury fill-in. It’s the most Sgarbossa has played in the NHL since the 2016-17 season when he appeared in 29 games and scored seven points with the Florida Panthers. Sgarbossa has instead spent much of his career as a top AHL option, totaling 436 points in 574 career games. That includes six seasons and 262 games with the Hershey Bears.
Sonny Milano is also benefiting from an open lineup, likely set to take on a notable role quickly after his return. The 27-year-old winger has played in just 27 games this season, scoring 11 points. He missed nearly two months of action with an upper-body injury sustained in early December and has also lost games to being a healthy scratch at multiple points this season. Milano will battle with Aliaksei Protas and Beck Malenstyn for a role in the team’s top six, if they remain without Oshie on Friday.