The Washington Times - September 25, 2011, 03:05PM

Brooks Laich left Sunday’s practice early, but coach Bruce Boudreau downplayed it, like he had with some other minor issues during training camp.

He just felt tight. As I’ve said with everybody, if you’re not feeling 100 percent in the preseason, we’re not going to force you if you don’t want to put something into a three-week injury right now,” Boudreau said. “So I said get off the ice.”

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Laich had been skating on a line with Cody Eakin and Chris Bourque. When the veteran departed, Joel Ward moved to that line, and Marcus Johansson played between Alexander Semin and Mike Knuble.

Jason Chimera missed practice again Sunday, though Boudreau deemed that precautionary as well. Chimera hasn’t been on the ice since leaving Friday while feeling “a little off,” in Boudreau’s words.

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Defenseman John Erskine’s surgically repaired shoulder doesn’t seem to be improving, and he’s still wearing an orange no-contact jersey at practice.

The Caps play four times in the next week, but Boudreau was not optimistic about Erskine being able to get much action.

At this stage, I don’t know,” the coach said. “I would hope that maybe the last one, but you never know.”