May 2, 2013, 10:58 AM EDT
Washington will have Joel Ward back in the lineup for Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the Rangers, according to Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times.
Ward, 32, has been out with a knee injury after blocking a Sami Salo shot on Apr. 7.
He missed Washington’s final nine games of the regular season, cutting short a productive second campaign in the nation’s capital that saw him score more points (20) in 39 games than he scored all of last season (18 in 73 games).
Getting Ward back for the playoffs is key for the Caps, as he’s been something of a clutch postseason performer during his six-year career.
He scored four points in six games during his playoff debut — Nashville’s loss to Chicago in the opening round of 2010 — then broke out by scoring seven goals in 12 games during the 2011 postseason.
Last year, Ward famously scored the Game 7 OT winner as the Caps upset the Bruins in the opening round.
- Video: Lundqvist helps lead Rangers back to New York for Game 7 1
- Lightning get taken to ‘school of hard knocks’ in third-period collapse 2
- A storm brewing: Rangers rally to force Game 7 with Lightning (Video) 10
- Video: Lundqvist stones Stamkos with left-pad save 0
- Bob Clarke really doesn’t care for tanking 34
- Hitchcock re-signs for one more year in St. Louis 9
- Ducks win crazy Game 5, push ‘Hawks to edge of elimination 32
- WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Ducks, Game 5 of Western Conference Final 3
- In the playoffs, sometimes it comes down to the ‘bounces’ 4
- Now feels like a good time to debate Stamkos’ next contract 38
- Reports: Sabres thought they had a deal with Babcock, aren’t happy (174)
- Leafs land Babcock with reported 8-year deal, estimated at $50 million (130)
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (75)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)