With the start of their second-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins just a day away, the Capitals practiced without defenseman Karl Alzner for the second straight day on Wednesday.
Alzner averaged 22:44 of ice time and blocked 13 shots in the Capitals’ six-game series victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. His last blocked shot came with 6 seconds to play in Sunday’s 1-0 victory in Philadelphia when he slid in front of a Wayne Simmonds blast.
A Capitals spokesperson attributed Alzner’s absence to a “maintenance day.”
“He’s a warrior,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said on Tuesday. “He played a lot of minutes. A lot of pucks hit him. He played a lot of body on guys. We just felt that we’d give him an extra day. He put a lot into that series. I expect him to be just fine.”
For what it’s worth, Alzner looked fine on Tuesday, smiling to reporters as he walked by them without any signs of injury. Nonetheless, Alzner would not miss two days of practice before a playoff series unless he is hurting somewhere. He holds the Caps iron man record with 458 consecutive games played in the regular season.
Without Alzner, Mike Weber practiced on a second defensive unit with Matt Niskanen.
Here’s how the rest of the Caps looked at Wednesday’s practice:
Alex Ovechkin – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Justin Williams
Jason Chimera – Mike Richards – Andre Burakovsky
Daniel Winnik – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson
Brooks Orpik – John Carlson
Mike Weber – Matt Niskanen
Dmitry Orlov – Nate Schmidt
Braden Holtby – Philipp Grubauer
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