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Mike Green Injury: Capitals Star Defenseman Could Have Returned To Game 5, Says Bruce Boudreau

The good news for the Washington Capitals? They have vanquished the New York Rangers in the first round of the 2011 NHL Playoffs and now await a second round opponent? The bad news? Star Capitals defenseman Mike Green took yet another shot to the head in Game Five, scaring a fanbase that has already seen Green miss 26 games of the regular season due to head injuries.

But back to what is probably good news. Despite absorbing a slap shot to the face off of the stick of Ranger Doug Gilroy that had enough force to knock two screws out of Green's helmet, the Washington defenseman was able to walk off the ice on his own power. And, more importantly, Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said Green even could've come back into the game:

"He’s OK. We could’ve played him," Boudreau said. "But the longer it went, we just said, ‘OK, let’s see if we can’t get by, let’s see if we can’t get by.’ If that little scrum at the end had’ve happened 14 minutes beforehand when John [Erskine] would get kicked out and another defenseman got kicked out, then we would’ve played him. We could’ve played him. "He got a puck to the head, but he told me he was fine after the game."

Even if the coach is being overly optimistic, the good news for Washington is their quick first round victory gives the team probably four days of rest before Round 2 begins.