The Washington Times - February 7, 2012, 10:51AM

Brooks Laich didn’t want to go to the doctor. He wanted to be on the ice with his teammates Monday. But trainers insisted on it.

So Laich did that dance, got his injured left knee checked out and was back on the ice Tuesday morning for the Washington Capitals’ morning skate. He appeared to be skating without limitations.

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As for playing against the Florida Panthers, Laich deferred to the Caps’ staff.

“I hope so. I felt good on the ice. Turning, pivoting and everything felt pretty good,” he said. “Usually the decision isn’t up to the player; it’s whether the coaching staff – you’ve got to try and convince them sometimes. Hopefully. We’ll see tonight.”

But forward Jay Beagle did a lot of extra skating and work after practice, a job usually reserved for scratched players.

It might be a case where Laich playing can’t make the injury worse, and in a game like this with first place in the Southeast Division on the line, it’s hard to imagine the 28-year-old not wanting badly to play.

“It felt good out there this morning. I know the position that we’re in, but I also understand that there’s a lot of hockey left in the year,” Laich said. “I’m going to try and play if I can, and if I think I’m going to do more damage or anything like that … that’s what the appointment was for yesterday was to rule any of that out.”