BALLSTON, Va. - Before Tuesday's game against the Florida Panthers, the Washington Capitals held their typical pregame morning skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The forward lines from the past week have remained intact:
Ovechkin - Backstrom - Brouwer
Semin - Johansson - Knuble
Chimera - Laich - Ward
Hendricks - Perreault - Halpern
D.J. King was the last forward left on the ice and will likely be scratched. Tomas Vokoun was the first goalie off the ice Tuesday and should start his fourth consecutive game.
After Tuesday's session, head coach Bruce Boudreau provided updates on Michal Neuvirth, Jay Beagle and John Erskine. Neuvirth is still "day-to-day," while Beagle is "smiling in the dressing room." While not much can be inferred from Boudreau's update on Beagle, both he and Neuvirth did not skate Tuesday. Beagle has not practiced since leaving Thursday's game after his fight with the Pittsburgh Penguins' Arron Asham. Neuvirth is suffering from a bruised right foot.
Erskine has yet to play this season after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery, but has practiced throughout the season. Erskine has not yet been cleared for full contact, but Boudreau is hopeful that it will be soon.
"He's getting closer," Boudreau said. "He played a lot of games for us last year and was a real integral part of our team. I think it's important that he's ready to play. It gives us seven good defensemen. You can move people in and out and give people rest that need rest."