Hours after being drubbed at home by the Dallas Stars, the Capitals were back on the ice for a somber practice.
There wasn’t the usual background chatter or levity on the ice Wednesday morning as players skated through drills expressionless, with only the sound of skate blades cutting through ice, sticks and whistles rising above the glass.
Troy Brouwer sat out the session, receiving a maintenance day according to a team spokesman. Defensemen Patrick Wey, who has missed one game after suffering an apparent head injury in a fight with Nashville’s Rich Clune, and Jack Hillen, who has been out three games with an undisclosed upper body injury after a collision with Alex Ovechkin, were both absent as well.
Then there was brief concern about Ovechkin, who took to the ice as usual and stretched but departed for the dressing room prior to the official start of practice. While it’s unclear why Ovechkin left the session, he returned a few minutes later.
Washington was also working with new line combinations that included reuniting Ovechkin and Backstrom on the same unit. Here’s what they looked like:
Johansson-Beagle-(Brouwer; Volpatti filling in during practice)