Brent Johnson said his hip feels better today. He wants to skate tomorrow morning to test it out first, but he thinks he could play this weekend. Jose Theodore will get the start tomorrow night, even if Johnson pronounces himself 100 percent healthy. Johnson also said the injury occured earlier in the first period during a Carolina power play and not during the Hurricanes’ man-advantage at the end of the period.
“It was about midway through the first [period],” Johnson said. “It was a one-timer and I made a left pad kick-save and this [right] leg just stayed stationary and it started feeling worse and worse as the period went on.”
Shaone Morrisonn didn’t go as far as pronouncing himself ready to go, but he went through the entire practice and is very close. Bruce Boudreau said he will be a game-time decision tomorrow night.
“I just pulled it, I was just skating backwards to forwards and I caught a strain and I couldn’t skate,” Morrisonn said. “I was surprised — bad ice.”
When pressed on the issue of the bad ice at Verizon Center, he backed off a bit.
“I don’t know,” Morrisonn said. “I don’t think I know how it was caused. Bad luck.”
Boudreau said Sergei Fedorov told him he is feeling better, but it would be hard to imagine him playing tomorrow if he didn’t even go on the ice today.
Alex Ovechkin did not practice and Boudreau said it was a maintenance day for him. There were no lines at practice, and it was a pretty short workout.
Lastly, Jeff Schultz had an interesting night last night. He was a plus-4, one of five guys on the team (along with Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green) to be on the ice for all four even-strength goals. But he also didn’t register a point.
“It was one just one of those games where everything was going right for that line,” Schultz said. “They knew where each other was every time they were on the ice, and that line got all the breaks.”
Schultz and Green do seem to have found some chemistry playing together. Green had played with Morrisonn for much of the Boudreau Era when they were both healthy, but the coach split them up after the Buffalo loss. Schultz has been a plus-6 in five games with Green, including a plus-7 in the past four wins. Green is a plus-9 while playing with Schultz, which has vaulted him to fourth in the NHL at plus-10, behind on Semin, Ovechkin and Chicago’s Aaron Johnson.
“I enjoy playing with Mike. He is great to play with out there,” Schultz said. “He is one of those guys that likes to have the puck as much as possible and I have no problem passing it over to him and letting him do his work.”