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Capitals defenceman Brian Pothier returns after 14-month absence

ATLANTA - Washington Capitals defenceman Brian Pothier played his first game in more than 14 months Monday night after recovering from a career-threatening concussion.

Pothier, an eight-year NHL veteran, was injured when Bruins forward Milan Lucic checked him into the boards on Jan. 3, 2008, in Boston.

Pothier, whose hooking penalty in the first period Monday led to Slava Kozlov's goal and a 2-0 lead for Atlanta, took three shots and blocked a shot in the Thrashers' 5-1 win.

The Capitals, who signed Pothier to a US$10-million, four-year contract as a free agent in July 2006, was recalled Sunday from a short stint with AHL Hershey.

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