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Ward back for Capitals in Game 1

May 2, 2013, 10:58 AM EDT

Joel Ward, Karl Alzner, John Carlson, Nicklas Backstrom AP

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.

It’s expected he’ll skate on the Caps’ fourth line tonight with Matt Hendricks and Jay Beagle.

  1. lizardlickk - May 2, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    WARDO! On deck: Brooks

    • ravenscaps48 - May 2, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      Now stay healthy! And don’t take high sticking penalties. Glad to have you back, J-Weezy

    • dipthatchip - May 2, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      get back on the phone LD

    • blackfoot11 - May 2, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      Glad Wardo is back in the line-up. An experience boost this time of year is always welcomed. I wonder if Chimera or Volpatti is the odd man out. @RavensCaps…lol, that Ward Game 5 moment will forever stick out in this rivalry with the Rangers. I agree no high-sticking or double-minors.

  2. hockeydon10 - May 2, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    He reminds me of a guy from my favorite team: Darren Helm. What I mean by that is a player that goes through the regular season with good ice presence, grit and intensity, then once the playoffs start you notice him even more. Not that they’re bad during the regular season, just that kind of player that turns it up for the playoffs.

    As long as his conditioning is up to par and he can knock the rust of relatively quickly, this is a good thing for the Caps.

  3. caps4cup - May 2, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Lets go caps

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