McPhee knows his team misses defenseman Mike Green, who has missed 11 games — the last five with a strained groin muscle — and may not be back for a while. With Green the Caps are 8-0. Without him, 3-7-1.

“In this league missing one good player can be critical,” McPhee said. “There’s just not that much difference between teams and you take a guy like Greenie out and it changes a lot of things in a lot of ways.

“Bruce did the right thing with Ovi in the Anaheim game,” he continued quietly. “He did the right thing when he didn’t start [Tomas] Vokoun in the opener. He did the right thing tonight sitting Semin.”

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