It’s that time of year where injuries are secrets and day-to-day is the most anyone’s getting out of Washington Capitals coach Dale Hunter about injured forward Jay Beagle.
Beagle missed Friday’s practice with an apparent right leg injury suffered in Game 5. He did not play in the Caps’ Game 6 victory over the New York Rangers, and his status is unclear for Game 7.
Hunter did not say whether Beagle would skate Saturday at Madison Square Garden or even travel with the team, citing that he had not yet spoken with trainer Greg Smith.
Joel Ward took Beagle’s place on the third line with Troy Brouwer and Matt Hendricks. Jeff Halpern is expected to play Saturday night if Beagle does not.
Beagle has been one of the shining stars for the Caps in recent months, becoming the most improved player thanks to stellar performances on the penalty kill and faceoffs. But at least in winning Game 6 the Caps have confidence they can do well without him.
“It’s a good thing we’ve had a lot of depth of guys are stepping in. We definitely miss beags for sure. He’s worked hard and has done a lot for us, especially this postseason,” Ward said. “Hopefully we can get him back, but at the same time guys have been stepping up, and we’re very confident in our group of whoever is out there that we just go out there and execute.”
Braden Holtby was on the ice a day after his fiancee Brandi gave birth to son Benjamin Hunter.
Here’s a look at the lines:
Alex Ovechkin - Brooks Laich - Marcus Johansson
Jason Chimera - Nicklas Backstrom - Alexander Semin
Joel Ward - Matt Hendricks - Troy Brouwer
Keith Aucoin - Jeff Halpern - Mike Knuble
Defensive pairings were the same:
Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Roman Hamrlik - Mike Green
Jeff Schultz - Dennis Wideman