Capitals defenseman Mike Green did not practice with the team on Monday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and will not join the team on its 4 p.m. flight to Nashville for Tuesday nights game against the Predators.
Green was checked hard into the boards by Devils forward Ryan Carter late in the first period of Friday nights 3-1 win at the Prudential Center in Newark and is believed to be suffering from groin pain.
Green had missed the previous six games with an injury to his right ankle. He was not made available to reporters on Monday.
Hes day-to-day, Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. Were hoping that he joins us on the trip. But right now hes going to stay here and get treatments.
Boudreau said after Friday nights game that he does not consider Greens injury a serious one and maintained that stance on Monday.
Its wait and see, he said. Im hoping hes back within the week playing.
Meanwhile, defenseman John Erskine, who sat out Saturday nights game against the Devils with an undisclosed injury, and Roman Hamrlik, who sat out the third period of Saturday nights game with what he called an upper body injury, both participated in Mondays practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
The day off (on Sunday) helped, Hamrlik said. I feel much better today. Its nothing serious.
With Erskine and Hamrlik cleared to play Tuesday the Capitals decided not to recall a defenseman from the Hershey Bears. Boudreau, who scouted the Bears on Sunday, said the team would wait until Wednesday to decide if a defensive recall is necessary. The Caps play in Winnipeg on Thursday and in Toronto on Saturday.
If we were playing back-to-back games, I would say yes, Boudreau said. But we have a day off in between, so I dont think its necessary. We could always fly somebody in on the off day.
If at all possible, the Capitals would rather not get caught in the same situation they found themselves in Saturday night, when center Brooks Laich was forced to take a regular shift on defense and veteran Dennis Wideman logged a season high 33:52 of ice time.
I dont know if its tough for him, hes iron lungs, thats what we call him, defenseman Karl Alzner said of Wideman. Hes one of those guys who could play forever, but we dont want to have to play him that much.
Wideman, who leads all Caps defensemen with 12 points in 15 games, was paired with Erskine at Mondays practice, while Hamrlik was with Jeff Schultz, and Alzner was with John Carlson. Wideman joked that he wont have to change his game much while Green is sidelined.
Just because Mike Greens not in the lineup doesnt make me all of a sudden have hands, Wideman said.
As for Sundays trip to Hershey, Boudreau said he likes to make four or five trips to see the Bears each season and was not necessarily on a scouting mission to find a defenseman.
It seemed like an opportune time to go, Boudreau said. We didnt play, they played. The Redskins were on at 1 oclock. It seemed like an easy game to go to. I hadnt seen all the guys since training camp.
If Mondays forward line combinations were any indication, the Caps will have a different look Tuesday night in Nashville.
Laich was back at the forward position centering a line with left wing Jason Chimera and right wing Alex Semin. Center Marcus Johansson was between left wing Cody Eakin and right wing Joel Ward; and Jeff Halpern centered a fourth line with Mike Knuble on his right and Matt Hendricks on his left, along with extra forward Mathieu Perreault. Nicklas Backstrom was back on a top line centering Alex Ovechkin and Troy Brouwer.