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Semyon Varlamov will miss more time for the Capitals

Saturday, March 5, 2011; D02

Varlamov will miss an extra 7-10 days

Washington Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau said goaltender Semyon Varlamov will be out an additional seven to 10 days and will not be with the team during its two-game trip to Florida .

Varlamov has not skated since Tuesday with an apparent knee injury - and last played in a game Feb. 20 - but had been listed as day-to-day until Boudreau updated reporters after the Capitals' optional practice Friday morning before the team's flight.

"He'll be out, according to [a timetable set Thursday], about seven to 10 days and then we figure we'll get him back," Boudreau said. "That was the latest."

Michal Neuvirth and call-up Braden Holtby will be the goaltenders heading on the road, where the Capitals will face the Florida Panthers on Sunday and the Southeast Division-leading Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

Boudreau said he is confident Holtby, recalled Thursday from the minor league Hershey Bears, is healthy enough after his own recent knee injury to play if necessary.

"He can play," Boudreau said, "and he might play one game this week."

'Wheels' are in motion

After one full game together, the Capitals' newly assembled third line already has shown tremendous speed and plenty of potential.

Jason Chimera, Marcus Johansson and Marco Sturm make up the so-called "Wheels Line," and while the trio didn't account for any goals during the Capitals' 3-2 win over St. Louis on Thursday, it wasn't for a lack of opportunities.

"We should have had four or five goals," Chimera said. "We can create so much. We've got so much speed that they have to haul you down if they're behind you."

Johansson has continued to improve throughout his rookie season and Sturm - claimed off of waivers Feb. 26 - is still climbing back to full health after offseason knee surgery and a subsequent bout with tendinitis.

Wideman brings chances

Washington's struggles on the power play have been well-documented this season, and Boudreau said Friday that he hopes newly acquired defenseman Dennis Wideman will make a major impact on the struggling unit as it gets more opportunities.

It has been five games since the Capitals converted on the power play against Pittsburgh on Feb. 21, and they are 3 for 36 over their past 12 games.

The Capitals didn't score during their only man advantage against St. Louis on Thursday, but with Wideman on the ice they moved the puck well, took some shots and were inches away from scoring more than once.

"It's just experience," Boudreau said. "He's been playing the power play his whole life and his job is to get pucks through." . . .

Several players' fathers will be joining the team in Florida this weekend for the team's annual father-son road trip. A golf outing is scheduled for Saturday.

- Greg Schimmel

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