The Washington Times - February 21, 2012, 03:12PM

RALEIGH, N.C. | Dale Hunter pointed to the lopsided nature of the Washington Capitals’ loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night to explain why Alex Ovechkin’s ice time was low and why Brooks Laich didn’t play the final 10-plus minutes.

I played everybody; you seen the minutes,” the Caps coach said Tuesday. “You’re down 5-zip. It’s nice to get [Jay] Beagle some more ice time, stuff like that.”

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Laich took a hit in the third period that CSN color analyst Craig Laughlin said on the broadcast might have aggravated a knee injury suffered Feb. 5 against the Boston Bruins. The gritty forward played just 12:26 at Carolina, and his final shift ended with 10:27 remaining.

But Laich participated in practice Tuesday at Raleigh Ice Center, doing line rushes with Jason Chimera and Troy Brouwer. And he brushed off any concern about injury.

No, I’m fine,” Laich said. “I practiced today.”

He didn’t want to address why Hunter chose to sit him in the third period.

I’m aware of what he said,” Laich said. “There’s nothing… I really don’t have a lot to say about it.”