Ovechkin, Arnott return for Capitals

Ovechkin, Arnott return for Capitals
March 29, 2011, 10:53 pm

Tuesday, March 29, 2011, 6:53 p.m.

By Ryan OHalloran
Staff writerCSNwashington.com

Capitals forwards Alex Ovechkin and Jason Arnott participated in the pre-game warm-up tonight at Verizon Center and will make their respective returns to the lineup against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Ovechkin missed the last three games and Arnott the last six matches due to undisclosed injuries. Both players went through a full practice Monday and a full morning skate Tuesday.

To make room for Ovechkin and Arnott, forwards Jay Beagle and Jason Chimera were healthy scratches. For Chimera, it was his first missed game of the year.

During warm-ups, Arnott centered the Brooks Laich-Alexander Semin line and Ovechkin skated with Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Knuble.

The Capitals are playing their first home game since March 13 they went 4-2 on a recent road trip.

Entering the night, the Capitals hold a seven-point advantage over Tampa Bay in the Southeast Division and a four-point lead over Boston to hold second place in the Eastern Conference (and are only two points behind top-seeded Philadelphia).

Acquired at the trade deadline from New Jersey for a package that included center David Steckel, Arnott posted two goals and three assists in seven games (all wins) for the Capitals.

Semyon Varlamov will start in goal for the Capitals, only his second game since Feb. 21. He stopped 23 shots last Saturday in a 2-0 loss at Ottawa.

Contact Ryan at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com