The Washington Times - October 29, 2011, 05:26PM

VANCOUVER | Sean Collins managed an assist in his season debut for the Capitals on Thursday night in Edmonton, though that was more the luck of his shot eventually turning into a Karl Alzner goal.

Still, Collins’ performance during his limited ice time drew praise from coach Bruce Boudreau.

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“I thought he did really good. He’s always done really good when he’s come up. He can skate and he’s got NHL strength and size,” Boudreau said. “He’s filled in quite adequately.”

Filled in for Mike Green (twisted right ankle) as far as his spot in the lineup only. Collins (admittedly) doesn’t have the offensive talents of a guy like Green and doesn’t see time on the power play or penalty kill.

Collins played just 12:45 Thursday as the Caps tried to protect him in a lot of ways, putting him in good positions to succeed.

“I’m definitely not complaining about the minutes,” Collins said. “Obviously ever player would like to get out there more, but I’m going to try to play my best whether I’m out there for five minutes or 20 minutes. Just kind of keep it simple and make good hard plays.”

A lack of even-strength play throughout most of the second period took Collins off the ice for long stretches. Still, he said he felt really good about his game vs. the Oilers.

“I got some good minutes in the beginning there. Once all the penalties started happening it was kind of sporadic,” he said. “But overall I was pretty happy.”

Collins is likely ticketed for Hershey as soon as Green is back or John Erskine (shoulder) is cleared to play. But that doesn’t mean the Caps don’t think he’s a good fit as a capable replacement.

“It’s not like he’s a first-year guy and his eyes are wide open. He’s coming up here, and I know he wants to stay,” Boudreau said. “It’s a good chance he would’ve been our eighth defenseman this year if we decided to go with eight.”

Instead, he’s the man making the cameo when injuries happen – but happy to be filling a role, no matter how small, pretty well. Judging from Boudreau’s comments Friday, Green could be out of the lineup until next weekend, meaning Collins will likely be expected to stick around and play a couple more games.