A leg injury to Mikhail Grabovski and a “maintenance day” for Brooks Laich kept the two centers off the ice Monday for the Capitals’ practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Grabovski, who ranks third on the Caps with 12 goals, injured his leg in the second period of the Capitals’ 2-1 loss in New Jersey Friday night when he got tied up in the cease with Devils defenseman Bryce Salvadore.
He did not skate in Montreal but is being listed as day-to-day, which means he’s likely to make the team’s trip to Buffalo later today.
Laich skated prior to Monday's practice, along with defenseman Jack Hillen, who is recovering from a broken leg.
Laich has one goal and two assists in the 12 straight games he’s played since returning from a groin injury. He played 19:33 in New Jersey Friday and 15:12 in Montreal. It marked his third set of back-to-back games since returning to the lineup.
Without Grabovski and Laich on the ice, the Caps went with forward lines of center Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson; Marty Erat between Eric Fehr and Troy Brouwer; Jay Beagle between Jason Chimera and Tom Wilson; and Casey Wellman between Aaron Volpatti and Joel Ward.
With 54 points the Caps remain two points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings, but have four non-playoff teams above them – Ottawa, New Jersey, Carolina and Philadelphia. Their 15 regulation/overtime victories are tied for third fewest in the conference.