When the Capitals try to extend their win streak to a season-high four games tonight at MadisonSquareGarden against the New York Rangers they’ll be without defenseman Mike Green.
Green will sit out tonight’s rematch between last year’s Eastern Conference semifinalists with what the club is calling a lower body injury. Green will be replaced in the lineup by Tom Poti.
Green, who is sixth among NHL players in average ice time [26:33], appeared to suffer in the injury late in the Capitals’ 4-3 win in Tampa Thursday night. He participated in practice on Saturday but left the ice after about 15 minutes. With a three-day break in the schedule following tonight's game the Caps are hoping Green can return to the lineup Thursday night when the New Jersey Devils visit Verizon Center.
Last season Green underwent sports hernia surgery that sidelined him for much of the 50 games he sat out.
Right wing Joel Ward also did not participate in Sunday’s optional skate but he is expected to be in the lineup against the Rangers. With Green out of the lineup, the Caps forward lines and defense pairings are expected to look like this:
Wojtek Wolski - Nicklas Backstrom - Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Mike Ribeiro - Alex Ovechkin
Eric Fehr - Mathieu Perreault - Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Joey Crabb
Karl Alzner – Tom Poti
John Erskine - John Carlson
Jeff Schultz - Tomas Kundratek