- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:

JAGR AILING Right wing Jaromir Jagr will be fitted with a special cast today to cover a cracked bone in a wrist and may be able to play Friday night against Los Angeles.

Jagr missed his second game of the season after a crack in a bone and a bone chip were detected in X-rays after the wing was slashed by Boston center Joe Thornton on Saturday afternoon.

Coach Bruce Cassidy said Jagr would "be questionable at best" for the game against the Kings. He is expected to have a splint for his injured wrist which one isn't known in time to skate with other injured players today.

Sergei Gonchar's 41 assists lead the team in that category, but Jagr leads everywhere else. He has 36 goals, 73 points, 13 power-play goals and two short-handed scores, and nine of his goals have been game-winners.

It was thought Jagr was injured on a power play early in the third period with Bruins defenseman Hal Gill off for tripping the Caps right wing. Jagr skated nine shifts in the first period, 11 in the second and 10 in the third and overtime, sitting out several shifts early in the final period of regulation while the injury was being examined.

Jagr missed a 7-6 victory over Atlanta on Nov. 27 with a groin injury.

Left wing Kip Miller, meanwhile, is still "too sore to play," and the team is aiming for a possible Friday night return for him, but his situation is not as solid as Jagr's. With those two out, that means two-thirds of the Caps' first line are out with injuries. Miller's injury is thought to be a bruised hand after being slashed in the Detroit game Feb. 22.

"We're going to aim for Friday whether he's able to go or not," Cassidy said.

On still another front, Maxime Ouellet was brought back from the Portland (Maine) Pirates when it was feared starter Olie Kolzig had wrenched his back and would not be able to face the Flyers. Ouellet was brought in under a 48-hour goalie exemption clause that does not count against recalls. Sebastien Charpentier backed Kolzig up as usual, and Ouellet is expected to be returned to his American Hockey League team today.

With Jagr, Miller and J.F. Fortin out with injuries, the Caps' only healthy scratch was defenseman Rick Berry.

Dave Fay

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