Mike Green injury: Capitals defenseman out Sunday vs. Rangers

Greg Fiume

The Washington Capitals will be without their top defenseman tonight as they take on the New York Rangers.

Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green will not play in Sunday's big game against the New York Rangers after suffering a lower body injury on Thursday night, reports Stephen Whyno of the Washington Post.

Green briefly took part in Saturday's practice with the team before quickly leaving the ice and has been officially ruled out of Sunday's game against the Rangers, which will be featured on NBC Sports Network.

The Capitals' top defenseman has had a rough couple of seasons after posting 76 points in 75 games in 2009-2010. Playing in only 82 games in the past two seasons combined, Green had just 31 points as he struggled with groin and ankle injuries along with lofty expectations.

Green seems to have found a balance on the blue line, with seven points in 14 games this season and leads the team with more than 26 minutes of ice time per game. His absence will be a tough loss for the Capitals as they fight to find consistency under new coach Adam Oates.

"I think [Green is] our best D and we'll see how it goes," Alex Ovechkin said. "We'll see what happens. Of course it's gonna hurt us, but we're gonna have different guys on PP and different guys gonna have more ice time."

Defenseman Tom Poti will slide into Green's spot in the lineup and get his first game action since Feb. 5.

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