The Capitals saw the return of a familiar face this week in center Nic Dowd, who returned to the ice after about a month-long layoff.
"Injury-wise it felt good waking up today and then ready for tomorrow," Dowd said during his weekly appearance with 106.7 The Fan's Grant & Danny, which is presented exclusively by our partners at MainStreet Bank — Cheer Local. Bank Local. Put Our Team in Your Office.
"No worse for the wear there, which is good," Dowd said. "It's always a good time. Getting back in game shape is impossible to do without playing games, which is always the tough spot for players, not practicing a lot at this point in the year. Yeah, it felt good to be back with the fellas. Just trying to get the pop back in my skating. It felt a little slow at times, but like I said, the only way to get back into the groove of things is to kind of chuck yourself in there."
Dowd's been out since mid-January with a lower body injury and returned to the ice Tuesday night against Detroit, seeing 13 minutes of ice time in the 3-1 loss. He was asked what's usually the last thing to come back after such a long injury layoff.
"Yeah, it's just that extra push," Dowd said. "Like you have that extra energy to make plays at the end of shifts or after you're done battling a guy one-on-one, and maybe you get the puck, you break up a play and then you have that energy to get up the ice and play offense. I just think that's the toughest thing for me, is my first shift, I felt really good, and then after that it was challenging until the third period when my legs kind of came back a little bit and I kind of got into the flow of things."
"I think at this point in my career, just playing as long as I have, mentally it's a little bit easier for me to get back in the swing of things compared to when I was a rookie and I was out," he said. "Now I've just done it so often that I kind of know what I can rely on and what makes me a good player and etcetera.
"It's just that extra jump. I was watching my shifts last night from the game and I could just tell there's just certain circumstances where I should have got to pucks that I didn't get to and stuff like that, but that'll come back in the next couple games."