The Washington Times - February 7, 2012, 06:53PM

Brooks Laich wasn’t going to let a left knee injury keep him out of a big game against the Florida Panthers with first place in the Southeast Division on the line.

But, really, it wasn’t up to the versatile Washington Capitals forward.


“Usually the decision isn’t up to the player; it’s whether the coaching staff – you’ve got to try and convince them sometimes,” he said.

Apparently no complications from a brisk morning skate and no problems during warm-ups were enough. Laich was in the lineup Tuesday night, though he was expected to start on the fourth line.

Laich took pregame line rushes with Mike Knuble on his left and Keith Aucoin on his right. But expect the 28-year-old to also see power-play and penalty-killing time.

Jay Beagle was again the healthy scratch forward.