- The Washington Times - Monday, April 17, 2017

TORONTO — Defenseman Karl Alzner will be a game-time decision after missing the Washington Capitals morning skate in Toronto Monday.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz said the training staff had asked him to give Alzner a maintenance day. He did not provide a clear answer when asked if Alzner would participate in warmups.

“I said it’ll be a game-time decision so I can’t make it anymore clear than that,” Trotz said.

Alzner played 26:17 in the Capitals double-overtime loss on Saturday.

Defenseman Nate Schmidt skated in Alzner’s place with John Carlson Monday morning and would fill in for Alzner if needed. Schmidt drew the short straw and fell out of the regular lineup when the Capitals traded for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, but played well when needed towards the end of the stretch, including filling in while Shattenkirk was suspended.

“Nate played really well,” Trotz said. “He was in here last time, last few games when he filled in he filled in great. He’s a really good player. We’re real fortunate to have a guy that’s played in the top-six all year and then gets bumped down to seven so we’ve got a lot of confidence in Nate.”

On April 4, when the Capitals played their last regular-season game in Toronto, Schmidt was in the lineup and scored a goal.

“That’s the last thing I can remember [in this building] so if you get an opportunity to go then hopefully I get another chance to do that tonight,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said he would just go about his normal game-day routine and that he expected to find out if he was playing as soon as he got back to the rink Monday afternoon.

“Make sure you get your nap in and prepare the same way and if you play, you play, if you don’t, you get your workout in,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt hasn’t played much with Carlson this season but has worked with him in the past. When he filled in for Shattenkirk towards the end of the season he was paired with Brooks Orpik, skating on the right side, but if he plays Monday night he would be on the left, a change he prepared for during Monday’s skate.

“Just a few extra reps in practice this morning, just a couple making sure you set your feet the correct way when you’re trying to make plays up-ice,” Schmidt said. “I think that’s probably the biggest thing. And then just playing rushes, just to make sure that just the way your body is angled, your feet are angled a little bit differently when you’re playing this side. But it’s something that comes back, one, two rushes into the game muscle memory kind of takes over.”



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