- The Washington Times - Monday, April 13, 2015

Jay Beagle, Eric Fehr and Tom Wilson all returned to practice in some fashion for the Washington Capitals on Monday as they attempt to work their way back from injury and onto the ice in time for the playoffs.

Coach Barry Trotz said only that the three are “getting pretty close” to being able to return, but wouldn’t commit to playing them on Wednesday, when Washington hosts the New York Islanders in Game 1 of the teams’ first-round playoff series.

“I’m not committing to anything,” Trotz said. “They’re very close.”

Beagle sustained what appeared to be a shoulder injury in Capitals‘ home loss to the New York Rangers on March 11 when he took an open-ice hit from defenseman Dan Girardi and has missed the last 14 regular-season games.

He said a return is “always up to the coaches,” but that he would be ready to play on Wednesday if the opportunity were presented.

“It felt great,” Beagle said Monday. “It was the second or third day of full contact, where I was battling and stuff. You know, I felt really good. I was excited to get out there for full contact and take some bumps and, you know, looking forward to Wednesday.”

Fehr and Wilson have only sat out since last weekend with what the team has described only as an “upper-body injury.” Fehr sustained his injury in the Capitals‘ overtime road loss to Ottawa on April 4, with Trotz noting shortly thereafter that Fehr merely aggravated some ailment and shouldn’t miss much time.

Wilson, meanwhile, took a puck to the face in Washington’s victory at Detroit on April 5, and the team has not disclosed whether Wilson sustained a concussion as a result. Trotz said early last week that Wilson did not show any symptoms of a concussion immediately afterward; as a precaution, the right wing remained at a Detroit hospital overnight.

Fehr, tight-lipped about the injury, said that he felt “great,” then added that “it felt good to be out there” at practice Monday morning. Wilson only participated in half of the practice and was not permitted to speak to reporters afterward.

The Capitals inserted rookies Andre Burakovsky and Stan Galiev into the lineup with Fehr and Wilson unable to play, but the plan going forward remains uncertain. Burakovsky practiced with Washington on Monday, while Galiev was sent back to Hershey of the AHL on Sunday.

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