The Washington Capitals announced a series of roster changes that will impact their lineup against the New Jersey Devils on Friday night. These moves include activating the Veterans Center Nicholas Dowd from injured reserve after missing the last nine games with an upper-body injury.

To allow Dowd to regain a spot on the 23-man roster, the Capitals also made a transition Anthony Mantha on IR after taking a deflected shot to the head during Wednesday’s overtime loss to the Florida Panthers. These moves indicate that Dowd is ready to make his return to the lineup as the team faces its Metropolitan Division back-to-back this weekend.

Dowd traveled with the team after participating in his first practice without a non-contact jersey on Thursday. The 33-year-old center hasn’t dressed since the team’s second game of the season against the Calgary Flames.

The Alabama native underwent core surgery during the offseason. Although he was healthy at the start of the regular season, he indicated during training camp that he anticipated having to do regular maintenance for the rest of his career.

“We seek every day to build on precedent and not suffer any setbacks,” Dowd said. “I think it takes a lot of maintenance, a lot of rehab, a lot of warming up to get ready before training. Stuff like that will probably follow me now. How it works as you age. It’s a tough match, so that’s to be expected. I’ve been lucky so far.

Mantha finds himself on injured reserve after Wednesday’s scary incident that forced him to abandon a two-goal effort against the Panthers. The big winger did not participate in the Capitals’ optional practice Thursday morning, nor did he travel with the team to New Jersey.

The Capitals placing Mantha on IR means they don’t expect him to be able to play for at least a week past the date of his injury. That would include Friday’s game against the Devils, Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders and Tuesday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. The earliest Mantha could return is November 18 when the Columbus Blue Jackets travel to Washington DC.

In addition to Dowd’s activation, Nicolas Aube-Kubel was also recalled from the AHL’s Hershey Bears to help fill in on the wing in terms of depth. Puck drop against New Jersey will take place at 7 p.m.

Title photo: Alan Dobbins/MRNB

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