The Washington Times - February 18, 2012, 01:38PM

TAMPA, Fla. | Troy Brouwer took a Mike Weaver shot off his foot at the 4:14 mark of the third period Friday night, but he didn’t miss a shift. Most of the team didn’t skate Saturday, but Washington Capitals coach Dale Hunter brushed off concern about Brouwer.

Just a bruise,” Hunter said.


Brouwer is expected to play Saturday night at the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Four Caps players took part in the optional morning skate at Tampa Bay Times Forum, which was for guys who didn’t play at the Florida Panthers: Mike Green, Michal Neuvirth, John Erskine and Keith Aucoin.

Associate goaltending coach Olie Kolzig was on the ice, as well, joining the rest of the assistant coaches for the skate.


Friday’s game was the first under Hunter to feature every skater playing at least 10 minutes. That was all because the fourth line of Jay Beagle, Jeff Halpern and Joel Ward were on top of their game.

“Well, I thought our fourth line, our so-called fourth line, played very well,” Hunter said. “They cycled the puck and they generated scoring chances: they have four or five scoring chances in the game. So you’ve got to give them credit where they banged and they cycled and they brought it to the net.”

It was hard to get them off the ice with how consistent they were.

They’re responsible defensively, too,” Hunter said. “So you seen the last few minutes of the game they’re out there right up to the end. It takes some minutes off everybody else.”


Mathieu Garon starts in net for Tampa Bay, something the team announced Friday. Hunter did not name a starter for the Caps, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see Tomas Vokoun get a second straight start after stopping 22 of 23 shots Friday night.


Guy Boucher confirmed the Lightning would not recall another player before Saturday night’s game, leaving them with 12 healthy forwards and six healthy defensemen. But the coach joked that might not last long, given a season-long injury trend.

“The way things have been this year, hopefully until warm-up,” Boucher said. “Somebody might fall down the stairs this afternoon.”

Tampa Bay is without defenseman Pavel Kubina, who’s healthy but sitting out as general manager Steve Yzerman tries to work out a trade.