Practice: Apr. 20

The Washington Capitals were on ice Friday for a practice following their 2-1 win over the Bruins in game four of their playoff series on Thursday night.  Some updates from Arlington as the Caps prepare for game four on Saturday afternoon:

Dale Hunter debuted some shiny new lines at the skate.  They were Ovechkin-Backstrom-Laich, Johansson-Aucoin-Semin, Chimera-Perreault-Brouwer, Hendricks-Beagle-Knuble, and Ward-Sjogren-Halpern.  Based on that, it appears as though Joel Ward could be forced out of the lineup when Nicklas Backstrom returns from his suspension Saturday, despite the high level of ice time Ward got on Thursday and his good defensive play.  I guess we’ll see, but it does seem curious to me that Keith Aucoin continues to see such an expended role, especially at the expense of some of the team’s bigger, more defensively responsible players.  It’s unexpected, for sure.

Also of note is that goaltender Dany Sabourin was returned to Hershey of the AHL on Friday morning.  With Michal Neuvirth consistently taking shots and fully participating in practice, it looks as though the young Czech goaltender is finally healthy again and is ready to back up Braden Holtby for the first time in this postseason during game five.

That’s all for now.  As always, follow me on Twitter here for news and updates.

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