In honor of Jackie Robinson Day, Capitals right wing Joel Ward will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Thursday night’s 7:05 game between the Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals at Nats Park.
Ward, who was nominated by the Washington chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association for the 2014 Bill Masterton Award for perseverance and dedication to the sport of hockey, wears jersey No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson’s contribution to sports, society and the Civil Rights Movement.
A native of Toronto, Ward is coming off a career year for the Caps, setting career highs in goals , assists  and points , ranking behind only Alex Ovechkin  and Troy Brouwer  in goals and Ovechkin  and Nicklas Backstrom  in points.
Ward is expected represent Canada in the World Championships beginning May 9 in Belarus. His linemate, Jason Chimera, committed to playing for Canada on Wednesday. Troy Brouwer also will represent Canada, with the possibility of Canadian teammates Braden Holtby and Karl Alzner joining them.