- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Last week, Bruce Boudreau laughed off the question when asked if Alex Ovechkin and Jason Arnott would return to the Capitals lineup in the same game. He talked about the end of this week as a possibility.

But it seems that the time is now — for both Ovechkin and Arnott. The Caps’ injured forwards are set to return Tuesday night at Verizon Center against the Hurricanes, judging by the morning skate and what the two players had to say afterward.

Jay Beagle and Jason Chimera joined previous healthy scratches D.J. King and Tyler Sloan for the traditional scratches skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington. Beagle and Chimera confirmed they wouldn’t be in the lineup — with the veteran winger appearing particularly upset.

“I’d rather not talk about it,” Chimera said. “If your boss came to you and said you were sitting out today, would you be happy?”

Boudreau wouldn’t confirm Ovechkin’s or Arnott’s return, even when pressed about Chimera and Beagle remaining on the ice.

“I’m not gonna say who’s in the lineup or who’s out of the lineup,” he said. “Just talking to the trainers and finding out who’s healthy and who’s not healthy and who’s ready to go, who’s not ready to go. The players will all know, but you guys will know when you see it.”

Ovechkin and Arnott were similarly tight-lipped about the situation, though the All-Star left wing conceded “maybe tonight” for a return. Still, he deferred to Boudreau.

“Well, we’re gonna see what’s gonna happen,” Ovechkin said. “It’s about coach’s decision, so we’ll see.”

Arnott, who’s nursing a lower-body injury, said he didn’t know yet.

“It seems all right,” he said. “I gotta talk it over with them and decide in a little while.”

It’s likely that the decision is already made and that both guys will be back, barring something unforeseen happening before the 7 p.m. faceoff. Semyon Varlamov is expected to start in net.


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