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Capitals' Karl Alzner ruled out for Game 4 against Maple Leafs

Capitals' Karl Alzner ruled out for Game 4 against Maple Leafs

TORONTO— Karl Alzner will miss his second straight playoff game on Wednesday night, Caps Coach Barry Trotz said.

Alzner missed his first game in seven years on Monday due to an upper body injury. He is listed as day-to-day by the team.

“He is out right now and he won’t play tomorrow,” Trotz said following an optional practice at the Maple Leafs’ facility. 

Trotz did not elaborate on the veteran defenseman’s prognosis. The first sign that anything was amiss came Monday morning when Alzner was held out of the morning skate by the team's training staff.

Alzner was replaced in the lineup by Nate Schmidt, who was paired with John Carlson.

Schmidt played 16:29 and earned a primary assist on Washington’s first goal in Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Maple Leafs.

He's expected to remain in the lineup when the Caps visit the Leafs for Game 4 at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night. Toronto leads the series 2-1. 

MORE CAPS: Holtby leaves cage to make incredible save

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What does Tyler Graovac's injury mean for the Caps?

What does Tyler Graovac's injury mean for the Caps?

Tyler Graovac is week-to-week with an upper body that he suffered against Toronto on Tuesday night, Caps Coach Barry Trotz said.

Trotz was not more specific but it appeared as though the checking line forward was favoring his left shoulder. Graovac does not have a point in three games.

“Seven days, then asked me that question again,” said Trotz, pressed on how long he expects to be without Graovac.


What does the loss of Graovac—for a while, anyway—mean for the Caps?

Well, it means Barry Trotz has fewer options to turn to as he searches for the right mix of forwards. He'll also be without one of his more versatile players; Graovac has played a couple of games at wing, though he replaced an ill Lars Eller at center against the Leafs.

The team does not, however, have to make a roster move to replace Graovac. Even with the 24-year-old out, the Caps have 13 forwards available for their trip to Detroit, where they face the Red Wings on Friday night.

Based on Thursday’s practice, it appears Alex Chiasson will draw back into the lineup and Nathan Walker will come out.


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Caps work on team building by fighting each other in FBI training

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Caps work on team building by fighting each other in FBI training

How much better would your work environment be if you had a chance to pin a coworker or get them in a chokehold? Probably a lot. That's what the Caps are banking on.

The team visited the FBI Academy on Wednesday in a team building exercise that included raming doors and, of course, hand to hand combat.

Let's break down some of these wrestling matchups.

Braden Holtby appears to be thanking John Carlson for playing 27:33 on Tuesday.

It seems dangerous to pit a goalie against a defenseman. Carlson spends all of his time on the ice trying to protect Holtby. Just how hard was Carlson really trying to take down Holtby?

It's no surprise seeing Tom Wilson enjoying himself with the hand to hand combat. Whoever went up against him (it looks like Jay Beagle) certainly drew the short straw.

And then there's this.

Nicklas Backstrom is having way, way too much fun. Maybe Andre Burakovsky was getting a bit chesty in the locker room after his first NHL fight. Well, it seems Backstrom certainly put him in his place.