By Sky Kerstein

The Capitals held one last practice today before they take off for a quick two game west coast swing starting with the San Jose Sharks on Saturday and ending with the LA Kings on Monday.  Nicklas Backstrom, who was elbowed in his head by Rene Bourque late in the game on Tuesday, practiced today and so did Alexander Semin who missed last game with an undisclosed injury.

Capitals Head Coach Dale Hunter said both Backstrom and Semin are day-to-day, will make the trip to San Jose and they won’t call anyone up initially to go with them to San Jose.  Hunter added that they’ll see tomorrow in San Jose how both players look and they’ll decide then if they need to call anyone up from AHL Hershey.

“Felt pretty good out there,”  Backstrom said following practice.  “Just following all the steps that have to be made, I’m doing what they tell me to, we’ll see.”

Backstrom also added, “I feel fine. You’ve got to push yourself to know where exactly you are.”

“Yeah it’s better than we thought,”  Hunter said on Backstrom’s injury.  “Which is good for us.”

The Caps forward lines looked like: Ovechkin-Laich-Brouwer, Johansson-Backstrom-Knuble, Chimera-Halpern-Ward, Hendricks-Beagle-Perreault-Semin.  All eight Caps defenseman practiced today.

Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner’s Team Canada lost a World Junior Championship semi-final game to Alex Ovechkin’s Team Russia 6-5 on Tuesday night.  Alzner and Ovechkin bet on the game and Alzner was forced to wear a Team Russia jersey all practice.

01-05-12 Karl Alzner in Team Russia jersey

“Ah yes,”  Alzner said on wearing the jersey.  “It was the worst morning of my life out there, probably.”

“Thank god they [Team Russia] won,”  Ovechkin said on the bet with Alzner.  “I don’t want to wear a Canadian jersey, it’s good.”

Listen here to what Dale Hunter, Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin, Karl Alzner & Mike Knuble had to say following practice today.

Dale Hunter Practice Audio

Nicklas Backstrom Practice Audio

Alex Ovechkin Practice Audio

Karl Alzner Practice Audio

Mike Knuble Practice Audio


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