The Capitals took their 2012-13 team photo Monday morning before kicking off the final week of the regular season with practice in Arlington. Once the players made their way into the dressing room and changed out of game sweaters into practice ones, there were no changes on the ice.
As is to be expected when a team has won nine of its past 10 games, Coach Adam Oates didn’t make any changes to the lines or defensive pairings for Monday’s workout.
Neither Brooks Laich (groin) nor Joel Ward (left knee contusion) took part in the practice, though both were present for the team photo. Laich has missed the past eight games since re-injuring his groin and remains sidelined indefinitely. The forward is working through an off-ice conditioning program and will not skate again until he’s pain free.
Meanwhile, Ward has missed six consecutive games since blocking a shot by Tampa Bay defenseman Sami Salo on April 7 and Oates acknowledged that the Capitals hoped the winger would be back by now.
“Obviously we thought he’d be probably back by now it just hasn’t gone away,” said Oates, who wouldn’t go so far as to say Ward wouldn’t be ready for the start of the playoffs but at this point the 32-year-old forward will need a few days of on-ice workouts before he’s ready to return.
“He’s got to be able to practice a couple of days and get his conditioning [back],” Oates said. “It’s been too long a time. [Ward needs to] feel pain free and be able to skate.”
Here’s what the lineup looks like:
Goal: Holtby, Neuvirth