BALLSTON, Va. - Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich participated in Tuesday's morning skate and was noncommittal regarding his playing status, but hopes that he can play against the Florida Panthers after suffering a leg injury Sunday.
"I hope so," Laich said when asked if he would be in the lineup Tuesday. "I felt good on the ice. The decision isn't up to the players. You gotta try to convince [the coaching staff] sometimes, but hopefully. We'll see tonight."
Laich injured his left leg during the second period of Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins. After absorbing a check from Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg along the end boards, Laich crumpled to the ice and had to be helped off by teammates. He later attempted to skate during a television timeout shortly after, but ultimately left for the locker room and did not return.
Laich left Verizon Center Sunday with a knee brace on his left knee while walking with crutches (which he said was to "appease the minds of the trainers"), but said his medical evaluation Monday was "very positive."
"I didn't even really want to go, but the trainers' job sometimes is to protect you from yourself, so they insisted on it," Laich said. "Yesterday, I wanted to skate, but it felt okay. I'm not the one in charge, unfortunately, but today felt really good, woke up this morning and felt pretty good."
Head coach Dale Hunter, like Laich, was also noncommittal regarding Laich's status Tuesday. Yet, Jay Beagle remained on the ice for extra work, which could mean that Laich is indeed ready to play.
Meanwhile, Mike Green also skated Tuesday after taking three days off, according to a team spokesman.
Tomas Vokoun will start for Washington and will likely be opposed by Scott Clemmensen. Vokoun has not played in the last two meetings against his former team after earning a shutout in the team's first meeting in October.