The Washington Times - April 4, 2012, 10:46AM

Troy Brouwer has taken a beating this season, from shots to his feet to big hits to an elbow to the head he got from Boston’s Chris Kelly last week. He also took a hard hit from Brian Lee Monday night in the loss at the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Washington Capitals right wing appeared fine afterward.


Following a full day off Tuesday, Brouwer was not on the ice for practice Wednesday. It was a maintenance day for Brouwer, coach Dale Hunter said.

Brouwer is expected to play Thursday night against the Florida Panthers.

“He’s a battler,” Hunter said. “He’s a good power forward and he’s been playing well for us.”

Brouwer has 18 goals, 14 assists and a minus-16 rating this season. He goes to the front of the net and takes punishment, though, and has created some goals with big-time screens.

He’s a tough guy, though, you know? He’s one of those guys that blocks a lot of shots,” Hunter said. “He’s one of the most hits in the league. And he takes his hits, too. If you go in the corner you’re going to get hit, too. So he’s one of these power forwards that every coach loves to have on their team.”

Without Brouwer on Wednesday, the bottom two lines were shaken up. Here’s a look:

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Marcus Johansson

Jason Chimera - Mathieu Perreault - Alexander Semin

Matt Hendricks - Brooks Laich - Jay Beagle

Cody Eakin - Keith Aucoin - Mike Knuble - Joel Ward / Jeff Halpern

Tomas Vokoun, not surprisingly, was not on the ice. It’s likely that his regular season is over with a groin injury. Hunter again called him day-to-day.