Several injured Capitals participate in the team’s optional skate on Monday

The Washington Capitals held an optional one-day trade deadline practice at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex – a day after their 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars.

Several injured Capitals depth players have returned to the ice, including TJ Oshie and Nic Dowd according to Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic.

Oshie suffered a lower body injury against the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 17 after clumsily trying to stop near the end boards. The team said Oshie was out every day due to the injury. Oshie has missed back-to-back games, Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes and Sunday against the Dallas Stars.

When asked if it was a good sign that Osh had skated, Peter Laviolette wasn’t sure and suggested he didn’t know what the right wing timeline would be.

“I think it’s still too early to tell,” Laviolette said. “You might get a better read tomorrow when you see him coming here and how hard he’s pushing and if he’s in the mix with the lines. And even from there you have to come in and talk to the coaches and see how he is doing.

Oshie has missed 36 of 64 games this season with a myriad of issues including previous lower and upper body injuries, COVID and the flu.

Meanwhile, Dowd wore a navy non-contact jersey while skating. He was injured in Friday’s game against the Hurricanes after being caught by a counter kick from Brendan Smith. Dowd missed Sunday’s game against the Stars. Eller replaced Dowd on the “fourth line” while Connor McMichael centered the rookie line (which was essentially benched the entire game).

Axel Jonsson-Fjallby caught the eye for missing Monday’s practice, but Laviolette didn’t think the press should make much of his absence.

“It’s an option,” Laviolette said. “Optional means optional. I didn’t just go ‘only you five guys [don’t skate] with minutes.’ Again, the guys might be dealing with things inside the room. They could choose to stay off the ice today. Optional for me is optional. I don’t care if you’re a freshman or sophomore or a 20-year-old. If it’s optional, you can stay away.

Main photo: @casadoresdean/Twitter

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