Andre Burakovsky likely to play in Game 1 vs. Tampa

May 11, 2018 GMT

TAMPA Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky will likely make his return Friday in Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning after missing the last 10 games with an upper-body injury.

Burakovsky participated in the Capitals’ morning skate, taking rushes alongside center Chandler Stephenson and forward Brett Connolly. While coach Barry Trotz listed him as a “game-time decision,” there is a strong chance Burakovsky will play.

Burakovsky hasn’t suited up since April 15, when he took a big hit from Columbus Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner in Game 2 of Washington’s first round series. Burakovsky needed “minor surgery” as a result from the injury.

Center Nicklas Backstrom, meanwhile, did not participate in Friday’s morning skate. Backstrom has been battling an upper-body injury, and Trotz labeled him a “game-time decision.” However, the Capitals star has not practiced with the team since leaving Game 5 with an upper body injury against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Lars Eller replaced Backstrom on the second line, being paired with forwards Jakub Vrana and T.J. Oshie.

Trotz said Backstrom is a “game-time decision,” but his status appears murkier than Burakovsky.