(Rob Carr/Getty Images)


Marcus Johansson left practice Monday after 45 minutes after tweaking a lower-body injury, but Coach Adam Oates said he expects the forward to be ready to play Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“He just said he was a little sore, so I said, ‘Get off,’ because I knew we were going to do a little skate at the end,” Oates said.

In 19 games since he returned to the lineup after suffering a concussion, Johansson has been a dramatically improved player and found a consistent home as the left wing on the Capitals’ top line alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. In the past 15 games, since that trio was united as the top unit, Johansson has three goals and 12 assists.

While Joel Ward skated for a second time in the past four days, there remains no timetable for the winger to return from a left knee contusion.

“He was just cruising around,” Oates said of Ward’s activity on the ice Monday morning for roughly 20 minutes.

Oates said he will offer an update Tuesday on the status of Brooks Laich, who has missed five games with a lower-body/groin injury and visited multiple specialists over the past week.

“I’ll give you guys a better answer tomorrow, if that’s okay,” Oates said when asked if Laich needs surgery. “I just don’t want to say the wrong thing right now, but tomorrow I’ll give you guys the correct answer.”