ARLINGTON, VA–The Washington Capitals (7-11-1, 15 points, last in the Eastern Conference) held practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex today before they head to Winnipeg tomorrow to play the streaking Jets, winner of their last three and five of their last six, and end their two-game road trip.
Mike Green (groin) did not practice today after playing the last two games and is not going on the trip.
“It’s just not quite feeling right,” Oates said. “We’re taking a step back until he heals, 100 percent.”
Green was second in time on ice against Carolina at 21:54 and led the team against the Flyers at 22:14.
“We’ll see how he is when we come back,” Oates said on Green. “Maybe a couple treatments and he feels that much better.”
Watch for Tomas Kundratek to be with Karl Alzner on the top defensive pairing tomorrow.
The Caps also shuffled their lines, Matt Hendricks was moved to the number one line, Jason Chimera to the third line and Wojtek Wolski to the fourth line.
“A change. Give someone else a shot there,” Oates said on moving Hendricks to the number one line. “Kind of by committee right now until I feel that there’s a real guy who can be entrenched there.”
The Caps forward lines at practice today looked like: Hendricks-Ribeiro-Ovechkin, Fehr-Backstrom-Brouwer, Chimera-Perreault-Ward, Wolski-Beagle-Crabb.
Marcus Johansson (upper body, on injured reserve) worked in with the fourth line. He has missed the past eight games and has not been cleared for contact. Aaron Volpatti, who the acquired off waivers yesterday from the Vancouver Canucks, will meet the team in Winnipeg and will be on the fourth line tomorrow. If he plays, Wolski could be the odd man out. Volpatti, who is a grinder/fighter, has played in 16 games for the Canucks this season and has one goal, zero assists and 28 penalty minutes.
“He’s a good hard nose guy, works hard,” Caps forward Troy Brouwer said on Volpatti.
Braden Holtby (6-7-0, 3.26 GAA, .899 Save pct.) will start his ninth straight tomorrow.
Brooks Laich (groin) didn’t practice and hasn’t practiced with the team since February 16th. Oates had no update on Laich.
Listen here to what Adam Oates, Alex Ovechkin, Troy Brouwer, Mike Ribeiro, Matt Hendricks & Eric Fehr had to say following practice today.
Adam Oates Practice Audio
Alex Ovechkin Practice Audio
Troy Brouwer Practice Audio
Mike Ribeiro Practice Audio
Matt Hendricks Practice Audio
Eric Fehr Practice Audio