A noon practice at Kettler Iceplex today as the Caps recover from a disappointing 3-0 loss at Tampa Bay last night. That kept Washington from taking over the Southeast Division lead and was yet another dreary offensive performance from a team that just can’t score right now – at even strength or on the power play.

They had 14 players on the ice. Others, including the entire top line, took their option. Not good news on the injury, front, however. Defenseman Tom Poti, who played just 5 minutes, 38 seconds against the Lightning, is out “at least a week” with an injury, according to Caps coach Bruce Boudreau. No word on if it’s the balky groin that’s plagued him for weeks, but that seems likely given his history. Boudreau has found himself down a defenseman a few times this season.

“I think it obviously hindered us in our pushing in their zone. Come the second and third period we didn’t have the energy – especially when you’re killing five penalties and you’re not getting any power plays," Boudreau said. "I’m sure it contributed a bit to our lack of production. But give credit to [Tampa Bay]. Once they got the lead they were very stingy.”

Also, forward Alex Semin is out again for the Vancouver game on Friday. He missed both games of the road trip in Florida with a lower-body injury after taking a hit to the thigh and is officially listed as day-to-day.  Semin has not scored a goal since Nov. 28

“Getting better, feeling stronger,” Boudreau said about Semin. “But I don’t foresee him playing in the next little bit.”

Washington forward Boyd Gordon played yesterday for the first time since Dec. 12. Said after practice that his conditioning is still a work-in-progress. A foot infection kept him from doing even a limited amount of skating. But Gordon also doesn’t think it will take more than a few games to get back to his pre-infection form.

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