Saturday, April 23, 2011, 8:43 p.m.
By Chase Hughes
CAPITALS PAGE CAPITALS VIDEO
Capitals defenseman Mike Green was struck in the side of his head by a puck late in the second period during the teams win over the New York Rangers on Saturday, just another scary moment for the All-Star blue-liner.
Green walked on his own to the locker room. It was the third time this season he has left a game because of a head injury. But luckily for the teams postseason hopes, he appears OK and, according to his coach, would have returned to the ice if the game called for it.
Hes OK. We couldve played him, coach Bruce Boudreau said. "He got a puck to the head, but he told me hes fine after the game.
Green missed the final 20 games of the regular season and 26 of the last 28 overall since blocking a shot by Brooks Orpik on Feb. 6 against Pittsburgh. He returned six days later in a game against the Rangers but was knocked out again after just two shifts. On Saturday against New York, he took a puck to the helmet, and the circumstances were all too familiar.
It was pretty much the exact same play as on Feb. 6, which is the weird thing, defenseman Karl Alzner said. He was battling hard there. He was on the bench and warming up between every intermission.
Green emerged from the locker room in the second period and skated with the team during breaks. His resilience drew admiration from his coach and teammates alike.
Heres a guy who three times has been hit in the head, and hes still doing whatever it takes to win a hockey game, Boudreau said. Thats tremendous character.
We wanted to go out there and get that win for him tonight, let him rest and hopefully get him back for the next game, Alzner said.
Green is second on the team with five points in as many postseason games. His return paid dividends for the Capitals in Round 1, and they could certainly use him moving forward. Fellow blue-liner Dennis Wideman is out and may not be available in their next series.
Working in Greens favor is what should be a long break for the Capitals. The NHL playoffs reseed after the first round, and the team likely wont play for at least four days. His status will likely be determined sometime next week.