Carter practices, says he will play

Posted: April 10, 2012

Ex-Flyer Jeff Carter returned to practice Monday as the Los Angeles Kings readies for their Western Conference playoff opener Wednesday against the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks.

Carter, who missed the last five games of the regular season with a deep bone bruise in his ankle, said he's making progress with his strength and movement and will be ready for Game 1.

"For sure," said Carter, who averaged 36 goals over the previous four seasons.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter, on the other hand, wasn't ready to look that far ahead.

"He still has a ways to go," Sutter said of Carter. "We just have to evaluate [the injury] a day at a time."

Caps look to Holtby

The Washington Capitals are preparing yet again to go with an inexperienced goalie in the playoffs.

Neither Tomas Vokoun nor Michal Neuvirth was able to practice, leaving Braden Holtby looking more and more like the starter for Thursday's Game 1 against the Boston Bruins.

"We've done it before, and we have no choice," general manager George McPhee said. "If the other guys aren't ready to go, he's playing."

Neuvirth, who was injured in last week's win over Florida, skated for about 15 minutes before practice on his ailing left leg but didn't look close to returning.

This would mark the playoff debut for Holtby, who was 4-2-1 in the regular season during his call-ups from the Capitals' AHL affiliate in Hershey. The 22-year-old goalie made his NHL debut in Washington in 2010-11, going 10-2-2. Holtby's backup would be journeyman Dany Sabourin, who was recalled from Hershey on Monday and hasn't played in an NHL game since 2009.

Toews says he'll play

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who missed the final 22 games of the regular season with a concussion, said he is confident he will be able to play in Thursday's playoff opener against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Toews skated on a line with Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa during practice and also was on the power play.

Sedin practices

Vancouver Canucks leading scorer Daniel Sedin returned to practice after missing nine games with a concussion. Sedin was on the ice before his teammates began practice and remained with them. There was no indication he play Wednesday.

- Inquirer wire services

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