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Posted at 01:02 PM ET, 01/17/2011

Mike Green sick but will be on the Capitals' road trip

Coach Bruce Boudreau said Mike Green missed practice because of a cold and will be on the Capitals' week-long road trip, which begins with a flight to Philadelphia this afternoon. The defenseman's absence from practice "had nothing to do with the hit" by Nick Foligno late in the game against Ottawa, Boudreau said.

While Green will be making the trip with the team, Boudreau said that the rest of Washington's injured corps -- Matt Bradley (broken finger), Eric Fehr (shoulder), Tom Poti (lower body) and Alexander Semin (lower body) -- will not travel.

Boudreau was asked about what he weighs when he opts to juggle the Capitals' line combinations, which has been a hot topic as the team continues to struggle to manufacture goals. Boudreau mixed it up several times last night against the Senators.

"I'm just looking at what guys are going, who's creating chances, who's got their legs underneath them," he said. "If it's not happening, maybe throwing somebody else [in] that can jumpstart them. Believe me, I don't like doing it, but when they start slow and they're not scoring any goals, you have to find ways to score goals."

Caps vice president of communications Nate Ewell tweeted possibly the most interesting note of the day this morning as Washington prepares to face a team equal to or above its place in the standings for the fifth time in eight games. During the 2009-10 season, the Capitals never played a team higher than them in the standings after Dec. 30 against San Jose.

Heading into Monday night's games, Washington sits in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 57 points, seven behind the first-place Flyers and seven ahead of ninth-place Carolina. But the Capitals are tied in points with Tampa Bay for the lead in the Southeast Division.

"I think from Day 1 it's a battle this year," Boudreau said of the tight race in the standings. "This is what the salary cap does: It makes teams better, while the better teams, they sort of stay the same. Detroit's probably the exception to the rule in the last 15 years, but people make ground and that's why it's close. Too many people expect at Oct. 1 to say this is how the standings are going to end up, and it doesn't because teams improve."

By  |  01:02 PM ET, 01/17/2011

Categories:  Mike Green, Mike Green, Mike Green

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