The Washington Times - February 5, 2012, 02:05PM

Brooks Laich went behind the net and took a hit like he has done countless times. But on this occasion midway through the second period, he went down and was in a lot of pain.

Laich’s left knee or lower leg slammed into the boards after the collision with Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg in the corner of the Washington Capitals’ offensive zone. It was clear immediately that he was in pain, and teammates needed to help him off the ice.

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Laich seemed unable to put much if any pressure on that left leg and he went immediately down the tunnel, though not under his own power. During the next TV timeout, Laich did a couple twirls on the ice to test the leg or knee, but he appeared to still be in pain and went back down the tunnel to the locker room.

He did not return.

Laich has not missed a game this season or last. And with Nicklas Backstrom already out with a concussion, losing Laich for any period of time is among the last things the Caps need.

Laich was just starting to find a groove, too, with four points in the past three games. Playing on a line with Matt Hendricks and Troy Brouwer, the 28-year-old has provided plenty of offense without being a defensive liability.

“I’m having a lot of fun playing with those two guys,” Laich said last week. “I haven’t played a lot with either of them so far this year, but the last four or five games, whatever it’s been, has been really enjoyable.”