The Washington Capitals recalled forward Casey Wellman, and he was on the ice Tuesday morning. But it was not immediately certain if Wellman would be in the lineup against the Carolina Hurricanes.
That’s because left wing Jason Chimera (lower-body injury) and center Nicklas Backstrom (illness) were both skating and taking line rushes. It’s possible Wellman was brought up from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League just as insurance.
Chimera left Monday’s practice early, though general manager George McPhee said it was “nothing major.” He said he would play vs. Carolina.
Backstrom’s status was a little murkier. After the morning skate, he said he was confident “right now” about playing. But after a rough Monday being sick, there was no pronouncement that he would definitely play.
Wellman rotated in with the fourth line, but if Chimera and Backstrom are good to go, the 25-year-old forward probably won’t play.
The team did not announce a corresponding roster move to fit Wellman under the 23-man limit. Marcus Johansson, who will miss his seventh straight game with an upper-body injury, could easily be placed on injured reserve. Johansson skated with teammates Tuesday.
Defenseman Mike Green (groin) was on the ice and pronounced himself ready to go. He’s expected to play against Carolina.
Defenseman Jeff Schultz could be the healthy scratch taken out for Green. Tom Poti remains in the lineup.
It was the 10th straight day forward Brooks Laich (groin) didn’t skate. He has been doing off-ice treatment.
Braden Holtby makes his seventh straight start in goal.
Here are the Caps’ expected lines and pairings:
Jason Chimera - Mike Ribeiro - Alex Ovechkin
Eric Fehr - Nicklas Backstrom - Troy Brouwer
Wojtek Wolski - Mathieu Perreault - Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Joey Crabb
Karl Alzner - Mike Green
John Erskine - John Carlson
Tom Poti - Tomas Kundratek