Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NHL Playoffs 2011 [Print without images]

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Mike Green says he's playing

By Scott Burnside
ESPN.com

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Although Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau described defenseman Mike Green as a "game-time decision," all indications are Green will be in the lineup Wednesday night for Game 1 of the opening-round series against the New York Rangers.

Green told reporters at the Capitals' practice facility Tuesday he feels great and is ready to return to action after missing a month and a half with a concussion, suffered Feb. 25 after taking a blindside hit from Rangers forward Derek Stepan.

"I'll be playing. Expect to see me out there," Green said.

"I feel great. And in game-shape, ready to play," he added.

Michal Neuvirth will be the starting goaltender for the Capitals, making his Stanley Cup playoff debut. He beat Semyon Varlamov, a decision that comes as little surprise after a regular season in which Neuvirth posted 27 wins to Varlamov's 11.

Boudreau said he's not worried about Green's conditioning, given he is one of the players who always shows up at training camp in top shape.

"I think he's ready to play. It's a question of how he feels tomorrow and if he's comfortable playing, then we're comfortable putting him in, I guess," Boudreau said Tuesday. "We'll figure it all out tomorrow, but he looked fine out there."

Green surpassed 70 points the previous two seasons, but was limited by injury to 49 games this season.

He has eight goals and 16 assists for the Capitals, who enter the playoffs as the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the second straight season.

Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.