Jay Beagle’s status for Game 6 appeared certain for much of the day on Wednesday, as the Washington Capitals and coach Dale Hunter made it clear the two-way center would play.
But Beagle wasn’t on the ice for pregame warm-ups, replaced by Jeff Halpern. On Thursday Hunter didn’t have much of an update on Beagle, whom he called “day-to-day.”
Beagle, who has developed into a clutch faceoff, shot-blocking and penalty-killing specialist, took a shot from Anton Stralman off his right leg in the second period of Game 5. The team is officially calling it a lower-body injury.
The Caps had a day off from skating, but Hunter was not revealing anything about whether Beagle would be on the ice for practice Friday in preparation for Game 7.
“We don’t know for sure yet,” Hunter said.
It’s very possible the Caps are without Beagle for Game 7 at the New York Rangers on Saturday night.
“We just move forward, man. I mean, Beagle’s a great player, and we’d welcome him back, but you add in a former captain of the Washington Capitals in Jeff Halpern, they’re cut from the same mold,” forward Brooks Laich said. “Halpy’s great on draws, great penalty killer, coming in with a world of enthusiasm. You take one out, but I thought Jeff did a great job of filling that hole.”