With the Washington Capitals’ morning skate underway, Martin Erat skated onto the ice, said hello to assistant Tim Hunter and skated over to coach Adam Oates. Erat and Oates shook hands with more conversation coming later.
Still in some Nashville Predators equipment, Erat took part and is expected to play Thursday night against the New York Islanders.
Erat will start on the third line alongside Mathieu Perreault and ex-teammate Joel Ward. The Caps aren’t messing with the top two lines of Marcus Johansson, Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Laich, Mike Ribeiro and Troy Brouwer.
Right Eric Fehr (upper body) will return, playing on the fourth line with Matt Hendricks and Jay Beagle. Oates called Jason Chimera the “odd man out” as a healthy scratch along with Wojtek Wolski and Aaron Volpatti.
Erat was tied with center David Legwand as Nashville’s leading scorer. It would not be surprising if the 31-year-old winger sees power-play and penalty-killing time very soon.
Here’s a look at the Caps’ lineup against the Islanders:
Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Alex Ovechkin
Brooks Laich - Mike Ribeiro - Troy Brouwer
Martin Erat - Mathieu Perreault - Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Eric Fehr
Karl Alzner - Mike Green
Jack Hillen - John Carlson
John Erskine - Steve Oleksy