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John Carlson expected to return for Game 2

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John Carlson should be back for the Capitals in Sunday night’s Game 2, and if it was up to him he would have never left.

Carlson, who suffered an undisclosed injury in the second period of Game 1, appeared no worse for the wear Sunday morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and said he “probably” could have played in the third period Friday.

“Just coach’s decision,” Carlson said.

Bruce Boudreau said Friday night and Saturday that Carlson was “sore” and would have been on the ice if he could have been as the Caps trailed the Lightning in that Game 1. Now that he appears to be back, the coach downplayed the entire injury and said Carlson would not have any limitations.

“If he’s playing, he’s playing,” Boudreau said. “I don’t know the big deal – guys get banged up a little bit and it takes you 24 hours to sorta get better sometimes, and that’s where he is.”

For his part, Carlson feels great.

“I had a day off and now we’re here,” he said.

Carlson played a handful of games very early this season with a bruised leg. He didn’t miss a single game with the injury.

“When you play 82 games, there’s gonna be times where you don’t feel like playing and to still play – that makes really good hockey players really good hockey players,” Boudreau said. “He’s a tough man.”

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