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Deadline Day Update

Nothing trade-related to report from KCI -- yet.

Everyone was on the ice for the morning skate, with the exception of Olie Kolzig (who doesn't skate on the morning of starts) and Viktor Kozlov (the latest Cap to come down with the flu). Kozlov is expected to be out tonight against Minnesota.

Meantime, the Alex Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom-Alexander Semin line that was so potent in the third period of Sunday's 2-1 overtime loss to New Jersey is back together again, and figures to be the top combination vs. the Wild at Verizon Center.

Other items of interest from the skate:

*Defenseman Steve Eminger said he expects/hopes that he's going to be traded int he coming hours. The former first round draft pick has played in 13 of 63 games this season, and obviously is not in the team's future plans.

Other than that, not a whole lot is going on at the moment.

"You want to stay with the same organization," Eminger said. "It's something I wish could happen. But there comes a point where things don't work out. They are going a different way. They don't see you as the player they want you to be, or they have people ahead of you. You have to accept it and move on. That's where I'm at."

Asked if he had a preferred destination, Eminger said. "No. Just some place where I'll get a chance, if that's a first place team or a last place team, just some place where I'll get a chance."

*Although Kozlov is the only player who will be sidelined, several others either have the flu, or are starting to feel the effects of it. They are playing, though.

*Defenseman Jeff Schultz, who missed the past two games with a strained left knee, practiced and is expected to play tonight.

*Coach Bruce Boudreau doesn't think his players are distracted by deadline day rumors (non of which have involved the Caps, anyway).

"Maybe it's a bit of a distraction for a few of them," Boudreau said. "From 3:00 to 7:00 is four hours to get ready, so either know you're going to get traded, or you don't know. And I don't know if we're doing much anyway."

*Chris Clark (groin tendon) skated in practice today, but was not assigned to a line. He said afterward that he's making progress, but still has no idea when he'll be able to return to the lineup. Clark did, however, say that he's hoping it will be this season.

*With Kolzig skipping the morning skate, Caps media staffer Brett Leonhardt, an Ontario native and former college goaltender at Neumann College, took shots in practice. The highlight of his day -- and perhaps life -- was a nice glove save on Ovechkin.

*The lines looked like this:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin
Fleischmann-Laich-Fehr
Laing-Gordon-Bradley
Brashear-Steckel-Pettinger

That's it for now.


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 26, 2008; 10:28 AM ET
 
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