After missing the previous day’s practice, Troy Brouwer was back on the ice Thursday for the morning skate and said he’s ready to go for the important matchup against the Florida Panthers.
“Absolutely,” Brouwer said when asked if he was prepared to play. “Just a little day off so I could rest and recover a little bit more and felt great in practice today.”
Brouwer has taken a bit of a beating in recent games, including an elbow from Boston’s Chris Kelly and a hit by Tampa Bay’s Brian Lee that sent him crashing into the boards with impact on his surgically repaired right shoulder.
“Guys are playing real hard at this time of year and those kind of things happen,” Brouwer said. “The elbow with Kelly, I don’t think it was intentional; pretty accidental, just gets you in a good spot.”
Other quick notes from the morning skate:
— Alexander Semin was the only player, aside from Tomas Vokoun (groin), who did not take part in the optional skate. Coach Dale Hunter said Semin is “fine” and all indications point to the Russian winger being ready to play tonight.
— Michal Neuvirth will face Florida, which he hasn’t had much success against this season. Both of the Capitals’ losses this season to the Panthers came with Neuvirth in net. Both were on the road in Sunrise, though, and the 24-year-old Czech has been stronger at Verizon Center.
In two appearances against the Panthers this year, Neuvirth is 0-2-0, having given up eight goals on 67 shots (.881 save percentage, 4.07 GAA).
— Players who took part in extra work and will likely be out tonight: Jeff Halpern, Jeff Schultz, Joel Ward, Cody Eakin and John Erskine.