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Caps recall goalie Philipp Grubauer from AHL Hershey

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Loose Pucks,Sports,Brian McNally

The Capitals have recalled goaltender Philipp Grubauer from AHL Hershey to replace an ill Michal Neuvirth, the team announced on Thursday.

Grubauer will serve as the back-up to Braden Holtby for the second time in eight days. He entered last week’s 4-1 loss at Philadelphia late in the second period and stopped all 14 shots he faced. Holtby is scheduled to make his 11th consecutive start anyway tonight at Verizon Center against the Florida Panthers.

Grubauer hadn’t yet arrived to take part in the morning skate at Kettler Iceplex. Team video coach Brett Leonhardt was the other goalie on the ice at the skate. It’s been a rough stretch for Neuvirth, who was already sick last week and hasn’t played since a 5-2 loss in Pittsburgh on Feb. 7.

Meanwhile, forward Troy Brouwer, himself recovering from an illness, was on the ice and is expected to play tonight. Marcus Johansson, who passed a neuropsychological test on Tuesday and has been cleared for contact as he fights to return from a concussion, was also on the ice. He is not yet ready to play and remains on injured reserve along with defensemen Jack Hillen and Mike Green.

The healthy scratches will be forward Aaron Volpatti and defenseman Tom Poti. That means defenseman Jeff Schultz is back in the lineup. He last played against Winnipeg on Saturday. Meanwhile, Brooks Laich (groin) was on the ice after practice – in shorts, a t-shirt and tennis shoes while wearing gloves and firing pucks against the boards. Not exactly the step forward he was looking for. He has not skated with his teammates since Feb. 16.     

The expected lines:

Hendricks-Ribeiro-Ovechkin

Fehr-Backstrom-Brouwer

Chimera-Beagle-Ward

Wolski-Perreault-Crabb

Alzner-Kundratek

Erskine-Carlson

Schultz-Oleksy

Follow me on Twitter @bmcnally14

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