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Semin missed practice, expected to play Thursday

by NHL.com Staff / NHL.com
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.
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