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Mike Green felt good about his return

Tom Pyatt, Tomas Vokoun, Mike Green

Washington Capitals’ Mike Green, center, defends against Tampa Bay Lightning’s Tom Pyatt, left, in front of Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun, of Czech Republic, during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning won 2-1. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)


Mike Green’s first game back since his latest injury turned out to be a decent one for him. At least that’s what Green says.’s Chuck Gormley hears from Green after the Caps’ 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay last night to get Green’s assessment of his first game since January 7 and abdominal surgery.

“It took some time in the first period to get my feel back, but I felt really good,” Green told reporters. “After I got going in the first period, going into the second and third, I felt better.”

If the Caps are going to win the Southeast and overtake the Panthers for what might turn out to be the only playoff spot in the league’s weakest division, they’re going to need Green to be at his best. It’s an obvious statement, but without Green on the blue line the Capitals have been lacking that offensive punch from the point.

Green’s defense is always the source of derision but what he does for the Caps on offense is undeniable. With Nicklas Backstrom still out, Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin can use all the help they can get. Now it’s up to Green to just stay healthy. Last night’s game was just the 11th game he’s played in this season.