Capitals recall forward Motzko from AHL, put him in lineup against Devils

NEWARK, N.J. – The injury-depleted Washington Capitals recalled winger Joe Motzko from the AHL’s Hershey Bears on Friday, hours before they faced the New Jersey Devils.

The Capitals, who own the fewest points in the NHL, put Motzko right into the lineup alongside Tomas Fleischmann and Nicklas Backstrom.

Washington was short up front with captain Chris Clark missing his third game because of a groin injury, and Boyd Gordon expected to be out for several weeks due to a broken right hand.

The Capitals were also without second-leading scorer Michael Nylander, sidelined with an undisclosed injury. Nylander, behind only Alex Ovechkin with 25 points, practised Wednesday but not Thursday when the team said he was hurt and wouldn’t play against the Devils.

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Motzko, signed as a free agent this summer away from the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks, was recalled by the Capitals earlier this season and had one assist in three games. He was leading Hershey with 15 points (10 goals, five assists) and was tied for fifth in the AHL with six power-play goals.