Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green is uncertain about whether or not he will play Thursday against the New Jersey Devils as he continues to recover from a lower-body injury. Head coach Adam Oates said that Green is a "game-time decision."
"I'm going to talk to Smitty [head coach Greg Smith] here today and we'll see what happens," Green said.
The 27-year-old originally suffered the injury in the closing moments of last Thursday's 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Green -- whose laundry list of injuries over the past two seasons includes a concussion, a twisted right ankle and a bothersome shoulder -- sat out of Sunday's 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers.
Green skated gingerly in full gear Wednesday and Thursday. When asked how tough it was for him to restrain himself from pushing too hard, Green said that he's "been through this before, so I know what to do and what not to do," perhaps implying that he is suffering from a groin injury; Green missed 41 games last season with a similar injury that ultimately led him to undergo abdominal surgery. Of course, that is pure speculation.
Meanwhile, Marcus Johansson, who has missed four consecutive games with an upper-body injury, took part in the Capitals' morning skate, but has no timetable for his return.
"It's getting better and better," he said. "I’m just taking it day-by-day and hopefully it will be a hundred percent soon, and that’s what we’re going for."
Washington's lineup will remain the same on the forward side:
Wojtek Wolski - Nicklas Backstrom - Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Mike Ribeiro - Alex Ovechkin
Eric Fehr - Mathieu Perreault - Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Joey Crabb
Braden Holtby will start for the Capitals. He has one career start against the Devils, a 5-0 loss on Nov. 22, 2010. He allowed those five goals on just 23 shots.
Thursday's game is the first of two back-to-back home games against New Jersey. According to Elias Sports Bureau, this is the first time since April 5-7, 2006, that the Capitals will play consecutive home games against the same opponent.
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