Karl Alzner missed a second straight day of practice on Wednesday but Capitals coach Barry Trotz said he expects him to be in the lineup Thursday night when the Caps and Penguins butt helmets in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series (8 p.m., NBCSN).
Alzner has not skated since Game 6 of the Capitals’ first-round series against the Flyers on Sunday, when he made a game-saving block on a Wayne Simmonds shot in the final seconds of the Caps’ 1-0 win.
“I’m not worried about his conditioning or anything,” Trotz said. “I’d like him to get as close to 100 percent as he can. There’s no reason - with that type of injury - he’d just irritate it more than anything, so we’d rather him just stay off. He’ll be fine. He’s in all the meetings. He’ll be fine.”
As for defenseman Brooks Orpik, he took practice shifts alongside John Carlson after sitting out the final three games of the Flyers series with an upper body injury. Orpik said he would speak with team doctors before his availability is determined.
“We’ll see,” Trotz said. “I’ve talked to our trainers. Obviously, he skated with us, but we’re still probably considering him day-to-day. He’s progressing or he wouldn’t be out there. He’s getting close.”
If Orpik cannot play, look for Pittsburgh native Mike Weber to take his place in the lineup and on the penalty kill in Game 1. Weber said Wednesday he grew up a Penguins and Steelers fan and admitted most of his family are diehard Penguins fans.