BALLSTON, Va. - The Washington Capitals returned to practice Monday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex as they prepared for a week-long, three-game road trip, which begins Tuesday against the Nashville Predators. Head coach Bruce Boudreau once again shuffled his forward lines:
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom -Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Brooks Laich - Alexander Semin
Cody Eakin - Marcus Johansson - Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks - Mathieu Perreault - Jeff Halpern - Mike Knuble
Six of the Caps' seven defensemen took part in practice, including John Erskine and Roman Hamrlik. Erskine did not play in Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils, while Hamrlik was injured at some point Saturday and missed the entire third period. Hamrlik said after practice that he's good to go and ready to play Tuesday.
"I feel good," Hamrlik said. "It was upper-body. It wasn't feeling good [Saturday], so there was no reason to push, but I feel good today."
Boudreau confirmed Hamrlik's sentiment and said that both Hamrlik and Erskine are expected to play Tuesday.
On the other hand, Mike Green, who was injured during Friday's 3-1 win over the Devils and did not play Saturday, did not practice. Boudreau said that Green will not travel with the team at the outset of the trip, but hopes that he could join them later this week when the Caps make stops in Winnipeg and Toronto.
"He's not making the trip," Boudreau said. "He's day-to-day. We're hoping that he joins us on the trip, but right now, he's going to stay here and get treatments. It happened Friday. I'm hoping he's back within the week playing."