Updated, 11:15 a.m.:
Capitals defenseman Mike Green will be a “game-time decision” against the New Jersey Devils Thursday night, Coach Adam Oates said.
Green, who missed the Capitals’ 2-1 loss to the Rangers Sunday with a lower-body injury, was the first player on the ice in Arlington Thursday and remained to take part in the morning skate. Green only skated lightly, though, and didn’t attempt to make any explosive plays.
“I need to be up in the play and when you don’t have that explosion then I’m not going to be very effective,” Green said. “It’s frustrating but you gotta be smart. I’ve been through this before so I know what to do and what not to do. Just take it day by day here and hopefully I’ll feel good enough to go tonight.”
Oates said the Capitals are considering using seven defensemen in the event Green plays against the Devils at Verizon Center. Last season, Green missed 41 games with a lingering groin injury that resulted in an abdominal tear and ultimately required sports hernia surgery. Green said that experience taught him the value of not rushing a return.
“Just to be patient. I think that’s the biggest thing mentally, I think that any injury, it obviously takes time,” Green said. “The more patient you can be and understanding, the better off you’ll be in the end to do the right things to get back on the ice.”
Marcus Johansson, who has missed four straight games with an upper-body injury, was on the ice for a second consecutive day Thursday. After the practice, Johansson said his ailment has bothered him for “a while.” Johansson suffered a back injury while playing in Sweden during the lockout.
“I’m just taking it day-by-day and hopefully it will be a hundred percent soon, and that’s what we’re going for,” Johansson said. “We have no time or date or anything.”
Brooks Laich (groin) didn’t skate Thursday, marking the fifth straight day the forward hasn’t been on the ice. Based on the line rushes during the morning skate, here’s what the lineup may look like against New Jersey: