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At the Rink blog

Semin missed practice, expected to play Thursday

Wednesday, 03.21.2012 / 12:39 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / At the Rink blog

Alexander Semin did not practice Wednesday for the Washington Capitals, but coach Dale Hunter told reporters that he is expected to play Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

A team spokesman deemed Semin's absence a "maintenance day." Washington did not practice Tuesday, so Semin has not skated for two days.

Hunter did not name a goaltender for the team's contest Thursday at Wells Fargo Center. Tomas Vokoun has not dressed for the past two games because of a nagging lower-body injury and did not skate Wednesday. Michal Neuvirth started in a 5-2 loss to Chicago on Sunday, while Braden Holtby earned the nod in a 5-3 victory Monday against Detroit.

Top center Nicklas Backstrom also skated before practice, according to reports, as he continues his recovery from a concussion that has kept him out of the team's past 35 games.

The Capitals hold a two-point lead on Buffalo and a four-point advantage on Winnipeg for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. A win Thursday against the Flyers would move Washington within two points of seventh-place Ottawa with eight games to play.

Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild