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Pregame notes: Defenseman Tim Gleason (upper body) game-time decision vs. Winnipeg

Defenseman Tim Gleason, left, still isn’t 100 percent. (Alex Brandon/AP)

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Washington Capitals defenseman Tim Gleason, who missed Thursday night’s win over Minnesota with an apparent elbow injury – officially listed by the club as an upper-body issue – will be a game-time decision for their meeting with the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre, Coach Barry Trotz said.

Gleason practiced with the Capitals here Friday, but skated on the de facto fourth blue-line pairing beside Dmitry Orlov, while Nate Schmidt worked with Mike Green. Washington cancelled its morning skate before trying to extend its winning streak to four games, so Gleason was not available to provide an update on his status.

According to Trotz, the decision will be made after warmups.

“We’ll see where we are and where he is,” Trotz said. “He’s not 100 percent. He could be very close to saying, ‘Hey, I want in,’ or he could say I’ll probably feel better staying out. We’re going to go right after warmup, talk to him quickly and we’ll make a decision on that. It’ll either be him or Schmidt.”

With only 10 games left until the postseason, the Capitals have shown a tendency toward caution concerning nagging injuries, preferring to offer extra days of rest rather than rush players back into the lineup. Upon returning home, they will have four days until hosting New Jersey on Wednesday at Verizon Center.

If Gleason cannot go, Schmidt will start his sixth straight game as an emergency call-up, already benefiting from defenseman Brooks Orpik’s lower-body injury that shelved the veteran for four games. But if Gleason decides to play, Schmidt will travel back home with the Capitals then return to their American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey the following morning, leaving the team with six healthy defensemen on the active roster.

“It’s a game-time, so there’s no sense throwing him on the plane when we’re leaving two hours later,” Trotz said of Schmidt. “That’d just be foolish in terms of that. He’d just fly back with us and he’d be assigned to Hershey in the morning, or tonight.”

Some other quick pregame notes before the puck drops around 7 p.m. EST:

>> Forward Tom Wilson was whistled for his second embellishment penalty this month against Minnesota, a call with which Trotz did not agree.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Trotz said. “I even asked the ref, ‘What’d you call that on him?’ It was not. It was not embellishment. The guy swooped his skates right behind him, you go down pretty hard. It’s happened to me a few times when I was younger. There’s no embellishment when a guy swoops your legs from underneath you. You’re going to go down hard no matter what.”

Wilson leads the Capitals with 155 penalty minutes, almost 40 more than anyone on Winnipeg and over 100 more than anyone else on his team.

>> The members of Washington’s third line – Eric Fehr, Joel Ward and Jason Chimera – have produced just one combined shot on goal over the past two games, a power-play redirect by Ward against Buffalo. According to Trotz, if the trio, known among team circles as “Gang Green” for the old color of its practice sweaters, doesn’t flip things around against Winnipeg, it will be in danger of getting broken up.

“I need a little more detail,” he said. “I think there’s too much swing in their game. There’s not enough detail. If you’re going to be a good two-way line, which they have been all year, they need to get that detail in their game better. They’ve spent too much time defending because they got away from some of the details that makes them a real good line. When you don’t have all three guys being detailed, it ruins the line. They’ll have to get it together or we’ll have to mix those lines.”

>> Following practice Friday, during individual work, forward Brooks Laich took a wayward stick to the mouth and chipped a tooth. It produced more humor than anything, since Laich insisted Green had struck him, while Green claimed it was Laich’s own doing. Laich plans to get the tooth filled in Monday once the Capitals return home.

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