Kronwall, Kozlov in

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ROH filling in for Corey this morning at Kettler for the morning skate and tonight in Chinatown for the Capitals’ game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

First, a couple of line up changes.

Viktor Kozlov will be in uniform tonight after missing a couple of games because of injury. Defenseman Staffan Kronwall will replace John Erskine on the blueline. And goalie Jose Theodore will start in goal, coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed. Michael Nylander will again be a healthy scratch — he is still on the ice as of 11:30 a.m.

The full squad was on the ice for the practice, which lasted about 30 minutes. The forward lines best as I could tell were Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov; Fleischmann-Fedorov-Semin, Fehr-Steckel-Laich and Brashear-Gordon-Bradley.

*Goalie Brent Johnson skated for the first time since hip surgery, using Tyler Sloan’s gloves and Tom Poti’s stick. Johnson wasn’t wearing pads but did two separate skates. Captain Chris Clark (wrist) was also on the ice after practice.

*I was in the wrong spot at the wrong time in the locker room after practice. To celebrate Semin’s birthday, Ovechkin — wearing the same hat as during the All-Star Game shootout — smothered Semin with a paper plate full of shaving cream. Semin dashed back in the locker room to retailate. Ovechkin grabbed Caps employee Paul Rovnak, who in turned grabbed me. The result — shaving cream all over the back of my coat.

*The trade deadline is Wednesday at 3 p.m. but all signs point to the Capitals being far less active than they were last year when Sergei Fedorov, Matt Cooke and Cristobal Huet were acquired on Deadline Day to help boost the Capitals to a late-season run and a Southeast Division title. The Capitals aren’t the only contender standing pat. Boston h asn’t made a move yet. New Jersey acqured defenseman Niclas Havelid from Atlanta. Havelid is averaging nearly 21 minutes a game.

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Ryan O'Halloran

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