The Washington Times - April 15, 2013, 12:28PM

Marcus Johansson is “OK” after leaving Monday’s practice early after tweaking a lower-body injury, coach Adam Oates said. Johansson is expected to play Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, according to Oates.

“He just said he was a little sore, so I said, ‘Get off’ because I knew we were going to do a little skate at the end,” Oates said.


Johansson left practice about 10 minutes before it ended. He has been vital to the Caps’ recent run, putting up three goals and 12 assists in the past 15 games.

There’s still no timetable on right wing Joel Ward returning to the lineup after suffering a badly bruised left knee April 7. Ward skated lightly before practice, and Oates said: “He was just cruising around.”

Oates did not have much of an update on forward Brooks Laich, who suffered a lower-body injury that’s affecting his groin April 4. Laich missed the first 28 games of the season with a groin injury.

“I don’t know how long it’s going to be,” Oates said. “We’re still evaluating and talking and all that.”

Asked about Laich potentially having sports hernia surgery, Oates replied: “I’ll give you guys a better answer tomorrow, if that’s OK. I just don’t want to say the wrong thing right now, but tomorrow I’ll give you guys the correct answer.”

Defenseman Tom Poti is healthy after missing time with a back injury and said he’s feeling good. But with the Caps on a seven-game winning streak, don’t expect the veteran to crack the lineup unless there’s another injury on the blue line.