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Capitals’ Mike Green day-to-day after leaving Devils game early
Boudreau confident ‘different soreness’ is not serious
NEWARK, N.J. — This wasn’t what anyone around the Washington Capitals wanted to see on the night of Mike Green’s triumphant return to the lineup. He got tangled up with a Devils player late in the third period and skated gingerly off the ice.
In his first game since suffering a right-ankle injury Oct. 22, Green tried to come back, and tried to test a new problem that eventually forced him out for good. But the positive word is that Bruce Boudreau is confident it’s not a serious problem, and the Caps’ coach added that Green did not aggravate his right ankle.
“It’s a different soreness. So at least it’s not the ankle,” he said. “That’s good news.”
Green played an actual total of 7:10 Friday night in the Caps’ 3-1 win at New Jersey, although he was credited with 7:44. He did not speak to reporters, but Boudreau insisted this was not something that would sideline his All-Star defenseman for a month.
“I talked to him already about it and it’s a day-to-day thing, and not a three-week, day-to-day thing — an actual day-to-day thing,” Boudreau said.
Green, who was injured in an awkward collision with New Jersey’s Ryan Carter in the corner late in the first period, tested his skating at the start of the second but was not part of the Caps’ regular defensive rotation after intermission. He took one turn on the power play but did not get back on the ice after that shift.
With Green out, the remaining five defensemen — Karl Alzner, John Carlson, Dennis Wideman, Roman Hamrlik and John Erskine rotated through to compensate.
“You’ve got to take a little shorter shifts and spread the ice time around,” Wideman said. “I thought we all shared the ice time when Greener went down, and I think we did a pretty good job.”
Boudreau’s optimism about Green might not mean he’s back in the lineup Saturday night when the Caps return home for a rematch with the Devils, but it’s certainly better than this being another major problem.
“I just feel bad for Mike — he just came back and he’s a great player who can help us a lot,” goaltender Tomas Vokoun said. “Obviously we don’t want him to be on the sidelines.”
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