Ben Raby, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - When the Capitals host the Anaheim Ducks tonight at Verizon Center (Caps Pregame at 7:00 on 1500AM & www.wfed.com), a familiar face will be skating for the opposition.
Former Caps prospect and Hershey Bears forward Andrew Gordon signed a two-year deal with Anaheim in the offseason and will make his D.C. return tonight with the Ducks.
“Coming into training camp, I was hoping to get an opportunity to make the team and start the year with the team,” Gordon told Caps play-by-play voice John Walton this morning. “Once I did that, my next big objective was to stick around for this trip to Washington.”
Tonight will be Gordon’s 12th game of the season, matching his career total with the Caps from limited AHL call-ups spread over the past three years.
Gordon is still living out of an Orange County hotel and says it’s probably still another few months before he can really get comfortable as a full-time NHLer.
“Gordo is a worker,” said Anaheim head coach Randy Carlyle. “The one thing he did, he came into training camp and earned an opportunity. He was our best young player in training camp and maintained that through all of it.”
Gordon was selected by the Capitals in the seventh round of the 2004 entry draft (197th overall), and spent three full seasons with the Hershey Bears from 2008-11.
“I always saw him as someone who had the potential to play in the NHL,” said Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner, teammates with Gordon on back-to-back Calder Cup championship teams in Hershey in 2009 and 2010.
“My second year in Hershey he got to play on the top line in front of the net, just crash and bang and tipping pucks and he was one of the best players in the league. So he fits into a certain role and when he gets into that role he’s a great player.”
Gordon was a top-line scorer with AHL Hershey, but 11 games into his tenure in Anaheim he’s played primarily in a defensive checking role. He has been limited to one assist and a minus-4 rating entering tonight’s game against the Caps.
“The nice thing about him is that he’s also versatile,” Alzner said. “He’s one of the hardest working guys in the league and that’s what you need on your third line. He’s not a fun guy to play against for a defenseman or a forward for that matter, so it’s good to see him being successful.”
Catch tonight’s broadcast as the Capitals take on the Anaheim Ducks. Caps Pregame begins at 7 p.m. on Federal News Radio 1500AM & online at www.wfed.com.
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