A concussion forced Washington Capitals right wing Steve Leach to miss last night's game against the Winnipeg Jets at Capital Centre.

Leach collided with New York's Darren Turcotte and fell to the ice during the Rangers' 4-2 victory over the Capitals Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. Leach left the game under his own power.

Leach saw a team physician Thursday and did not participate in the team's optional practice. It was uncertain whether he will be able to play tonight, when the Capitals and Rangers meet again, this time at 7:30 at Capital Centre.

Peter Bondra took Leach's spot last night on Mike Ridley's line. Scratched from the lineup were center Rob Murray and defensemen Bob Babcock and Joel Quenneville.

The Jets scratched right wing Mark Krumpel, injured center Thomas Steen, and defensemen Moe Mantha and Randy Carlyle. A 34-year-old former Norris Trophy winner, Carlyle has been scratched from three of the Jets' five games. Druce Not Forgotten

The Capitals' trip to New York was the first road assignment of the season -- and the first of 20 cities where John Druce had to explain his playoff success and whether he can do it again. The headline on the New York Daily News story that previewed the game: "He's back, Rangers."

"They are all the same," Druce said. "Every interview is the same, but that comes with the territory."

Druce understands that media attention usually reacts to someone doing something interesting and, in this case, positive.

"If I didn't venture into those waters at the end of last year, I wouldn't be in the territory I'm in now," he said. "It's different, but it is new and exciting."

Druce will face another horde, though some will have different accents, Monday when the Capitals play in Montreal.