Washington Capitals defenseman Tom Poti has had a frustrating year because of a reoccurring groin injury, and his return might not be anytime in the near future.
The Capitals had an optional practice Thursday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, but Poti was missing because coach Bruce Boudreau said he was "sore" after his on-ice workout Wednesday. Poti was playing in a game of sideways 3-on-3 with the guys who would eventually be healthy scratches that night for Game 1 of this series when he was involved in a collision.
Poti stayed down on the ice for a few seconds and did not appear to be comfortable when he got back up. Assistant coach Bob Woods took his place in the game.
Boudreau said there might not be a place in the lineup waiting for the veteran Poti even when he is healthy enough to play.
"He hasn't played in four months now and I think our defense is playing pretty well," Boudreau said. "So it'd be pretty hard for him, unless there's injuries, to get back in."
The Capitals have six healthy defensemen in front of Poti right now, plus trade deadline addition Dennis Wideman could be back during the second round to add another body to a crowded blueline corps.