PHILADELPHIA | The whole Washington Capitals team took the day off Tuesday, no problem there. Then Alexander Semin didn’t practice Wednesday with what was called a “maintenance day.”
Still, coach Dale Hunter said the Russian winger would play Thursday night at the Philadelphia Flyers.
But Thursday morning at Wells Fargo Center, Semin didn’t take part in the morning skate. Even though it was optional and Alex Ovechkin and Dennis Wideman also did not skate, it seemed curious.
“He’s still on maintenance right now,” Hunter said of Semin on Thursday afternoon.
Asked if Semin will take pregame warm-ups, the coach responded, “Yeah, we’ll see.”
Joel Ward is expected to take warm-ups, as well. The 31-year-old right wing was a healthy scratch Monday night at the Detroit Red Wings.
Ward said did not know if he was playing, but he did not stay on the ice for extra work along with the healthy scratches on defense, John Erskine and Dmitry Orlov.
It’s looking likely that, aside from the Semin question mark, the Caps will go with essentially the same lineup against the Flyers as they had against the Red Wings. Given Hunter’s superstitious nature, that’s not surprising.
Here’s a look at what the lines and pairings could be:
Alex Ovechkin – Brooks Laich – Troy Brouwer
Marcus Johansson – Keith Aucoin – Mike Knuble
Jason Chimera – Mathieu Perreault – Joel Ward or Alexander Semin
Matt Hendricks – Jay Beagle – Jeff Halpern
Karl Alzner – Dennis Wideman
Roman Hamrlik – Mike Green
Jeff Schultz – John Carlson