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Clark Returns and Today's Lineup

Coach Bruce Boudreau just said that Chris Clark will return to the lineup this afternoon against the Flyers after missing 18 games with a strained groin muscle. It will be the captain's first action since Nov. 28.

Defenseman Tom Poti and checking line winger Quintin Laing will also play.

Here's the lineup:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Semin-Nylander-Clark
Laing-Steckel-Gordon
Brashear-Laich-Bradley

The 'D' pairings
Green-Morrisonn
Erskine-Poti
Schultz-Jurcina

The healthy scratches will be Tomas Fleischmann, Matt Pettinger and Steve Eminger.

Boudreau said he'll keep a close eye on Clark, just to make sure he doesn't overexert himself.

"I'm always worried about him coming back," Boudreau said. Clark "says he wants to play and he says he's fine. He'll probably be so [jacked] up, I just hope doesn't do something silly."

Boudreau also said he's going to talk to Alex Ovechkin, who will be playing for the first time since signing a record 13-year, $124 million contract on Thursday.

"He'll be so excited and want to play so hard," the coach said. "I'm going to go in and tell him to just be Alex Ovechkin and that will be enough for everybody. You don't have to do more than what you've been doing."

Olie Kolzig will start today, but Brent Johnson can expect to see some playing time this week.

Johnson "had a great game in Hershey by all accounts," Boudreau said. "He practiced very well yesterday, so he's going to be playing this week. It's important, quite frankly, to get him playing more down the stretch. As much as Olie is our No. 1, we'd like to give him a rest every now and again."

That's it for now.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 13, 2008; 11:25 AM ET
 
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