Ben Raby, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - Troy Brouwer missed his second straight practice Thursday due to an apparent shoulder injury. Brouwer was hit by Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman late in the third period of Washington’s 5-4 overtime win over Anaheim Tuesday at Verizon Center.
Brouwer has been a fixture on the Capitals top line for much of the season along with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.
Given Brouwer’s absence at practice Thursday, head coach Bruce Boudreau reunited the familiar trio of Ovechkin, Backstrom and Alexander Semin.
“We know that they like playing with each other,” Boudreau said of his three leading scorers in each of the past three seasons. “It’s something when you have injuries, depending on who you play or what your game plan is, sometimes it works.”
Brouwer’s injury could also mean a longer stay with the Caps for rookie Cody Eakin, who made his NHL debut in Tuesday’s win against the Ducks.
Eakin did not look out of place in his first career NHL game, skating 13:19 and registering three shots on goal.
Boudreau had the 20-year-old Eakin skate on a "young guns" line at Thursday’s practice with Marcus Johansson, 21, and Mathieu Perreault, 23.
“There’s not a lot of experience there,” Boudreau joked. “But all over the history of hockey, there have been so called ‘kid lines' -- every team sort of has one and we hadn’t had one before. It just seemed that this was a proper time just to see what the enthusiasm of three young guys could bring to a game.
“They bring a lot of speed and a lot of enthusiasm.”
Injured defenseman Mike Green (ankle) skated lightly for about 30 minutes. Green has missed three straight games and Boudreau said that Green will not play Friday against the Hurricanes.
The Capitals play back-to-back road games this weekend, Friday in Carolina and Saturday on Long Island.
Lines at Thursday’s practice:
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