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Novotny Skates

The newest member of the Caps, prospect Jiri Novotny, arrived in town early this morning and joined his teammates on the ice for practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex this morning. Although the 23-year-old checking line center has missed the past five games with a high ankle sprain--and 11 of the past 15 for the same reason--he said he expects to be in the lineup tomorrow against Tampa Bay.

Novotny skated between Brooks Laich and Tomas Fleischmann, his former Czech junior team linemate.

In the wake of four trades over the previous 48 hours, all of Coach Hanlon's lines were juggled. The top combination was Ovechkin-Beech-Semin; another line was Brashear-Sutherby-Clymer; Pettinger-Gordon-Bradley (same as before).

Novotny, 23, said he started the season in Buffalo playing on the right wing next to Drury and Kotalik, but wound up getting moved down to the fourth line where he skated with Peters and Mair.

He's going to get significantly more minutes than he earned with the Sabres. And that, he said, really excites him.

I'll have much more in tomorrow's paper on him.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 28, 2007; 1:30 PM ET
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