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Alzner a game-time decision, could be replaced by Schmidt

Washington Capitals v New Jersey Devils

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 06: Karl Alzner #27 of the Washington Capitals takes the puck in the first period against the New Jersey Devils on February 6, 2016 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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The Toronto Maple Leafs will be getting a top-four defenseman back tonight, and the Washington Capitals may be missing one.

Karl Alzner will be a game-time decision for Game 3 of the Leafs-Caps series at ACC. If he doesn’t play, it will be his first missed game in seven years.

The Caps did not say what was bothering Alzner, but he did not participate in this morning’s skate.

From the Washington Post:

Alzner owns the franchise record for consecutive games played with 540 consecutive regular-season games, and he’s also played in 59 straight playoff games. He had sports hernia surgery this summer after partially tearing a groin muscle in Washington’s last playoff game a year ago. Though Alzner didn’t miss a game during the regular season, the recovery from groin injuries is arduous, and it has occasionally hindered Alzner.

Nate Schmidt is expected to draw in if Alzner can’t go. Schmidt has not played much since Kevin Shattenkirk was acquired, but the 25-year-old did get into 60 games this season, scoring three goals with 14 assists.

“Nate has played really well,” head coach Barry Trotz said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “He’s a really good player. We’re real fortunate to have a guy that’s played in our top six all year that got bumped down to seventh. So we’ve got a lot of confidence in Nate. The last couple of years he’s really developed.”