After missing the past three games with an injured left leg, Martin Erat will return to the Capitals’ lineup Saturday night at Verizon Center against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Erat, 31, suffered the injury on April 6 at Florida when Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson delivered a late hit from behind that sent the veteran winger awkwardly into the boards. He avoided significant harm, though, and after five consecutive days of skating Erat said he’s prepared to get back to game action.
“Feeling good. Feels better every day, I’m pretty much ready to go,” Erat said, adding that while he would have much rather been playing games with his new team the time to take part in practice and watch the system work from above should help him make a smooth transition.
“Practice, watching the games, everything. It helps to see how the guys play it and it’s easier for me to understand it,” Erat said. “I’m watching overall game and watching the system: How you have to do it in the neutral zone, how you forecheck, how the guys do it. It’s easier to understand it when you watch it from upstairs.”