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Day 2 Report

Viktor Kozlov, who was struck under the left eye with a puck yesterday, has some swelling and is sore, I'm told, but he's on the ice. He's also got a visor on -- perhaps a day too late.

Kozlov, though, isn't expected to make the trip to Carolina for the preseason opener tomorrow. Neither are Olie Kolzig, Alexander Semin, Alex Ovechkin and Michael Nylander. So it's going to be a kid-heavy lineup, with Nicklas Backstrom and Karl Alzner leading the way.

Today, by the way, will be a big day for Backstrom because he's expected to scrimmage against NHL veterans for the first time. It's going to be very interesting to see how he does.

Update:Semin suffered a cut above his left eye in the scrimmage after crashing hard into the end boards. He was tangled up with Matt Pettinger while they were fighting for a puck. He left the ice bleeding pretty bad, but I just saw him in the dressing room. He's fine.

Update:It's too bad Semin got hurt, because up until that point, he had been the best player on the ice. He made a spin move around a defenseman that drew oohs and aahs from the fans. A few moments after that, he skated backward down the slot, while controlling the puck, spun and shot it just high of the net.

Backstrom, who skated with Pettinger and Chris Clark, at times looked really good, and other times looked like a 19-year-old still finding his way amongst men. I've got a sense, though, that he's going to get better with each day.

Olie Kolzig also stood out. Although he only played in one of the two periods in the scrimmage, he's picked up right where he left off, making a couple of great stops.

Another guy who really stood out, to me at least, was Matt Bradley. Not only did he score, he looks like a player who realizes what's at stake. He's battling for a job, and he knows it.

Update:Center Mathieu Perreault has been returned to his junior team, Acadie-Bathurst of the QMJHL, the Caps announced a short while ago.

That's it for now. Got to write my story for Sunday's Post. It's going to be about Tom Poti.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 15, 2007; 10:54 AM ET
 
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