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Capitals' Green won't return to lineup vs. Penguins

by Adam Vingan

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green will not return to the lineup Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2) as he continues to work back from a lower-body contusion.

"Not ready, not 100 percent ready," coach Adam Oates said. "He could go, but you know what, [the Penguins are a] really good team and [we] don't want to put him in a position where he's behind the eight-ball a little bit."

Green has not played since Nov. 12, when he sustained the injury against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Oates, who said his reluctance to place Green in the lineup has to do with the defenseman's conditioning, has maintained the injury is not related to any of the groin problems that have plagued Green in recent seasons.

The 28-year-old fully participated in practice Tuesday and in the morning skate Wednesday.

"Better than yesterday," Green said. "Mentally I'm in a good place, when you're getting better and you can actually get back on the ice and work on your strength. This is my second real day where I've actually skated. Yesterday was a good one. Today was even better. I don't think one practice would have been enough. It's important I strengthen the leg and also my endurance so I'm ready to go."

Here are the projected lineups for the Capitals and Penguins for their NBCSN Rivalry Night matchup Wednesday at Verizon Center.


Marcus JohanssonNicklas BackstromAlex Ovechkin

Martin EratBrooks LaichTroy Brouwer

Jason ChimeraMikhail GrabovskiJoel Ward

Aaron VolpattiMichael LattaTom Wilson

John CarlsonKarl Alzner

Nate SchmidtTyson Strachan

Alexander UrbomSteve Oleksy

Braden Holtby

Michal Neuvirth

Scratched: Jay Beagle, Eric Fehr, Dmitry Orlov

Injured: Mike Green (lower-body contusion), John Erskine (knee), Jack Hillen (fractured tibial plateau)


Chris KunitzSidney CrosbyBeau Bennett

Pascal DupuisEvgeni MalkinJames Neal

Brian GibbonsBrandon SutterJussi Jokinen

Tanner GlassJoe VitaleCraig Adams

Brooks OrpikPaul Martin

Olli MaattaKris Letang

Matt NiskanenDeryk Engelland

Marc-Andre Fleury

Jeff Zatkoff

Scratched: Zach Sill, Robert Bortuzzo

Injured: Chuck Kobasew (lower body), Rob Scuderi (broken ankle), Tomas Vokoun (pelvis)

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