Cote expects to play tonight

April 23, 1994|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Staff Writer

LANDOVER -- Washington defenseman Sylvain Cote, who has a fractured orbital bone, expects to be on the ice for tonight's Game 4 of the Capitals' Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I'll be all right, until I'm hit there again," Cote said after yesterday's morning skate. "I'm not afraid of any [Pittsburgh players] coming after me. I'll be wearing a face shield -- and I have a stick I can use to protect myself."

On Monday, the Capitals feared Cote would be out up to three weeks. Instead, he will be back in six days.

"The first doctor was conservative, and this one [Dr. James Karesh of Sinai Hospital] isn't," said Cote, who wore a shield for six years in Harford before joining the Caps.

Cote said he would be examined before tonight's game and after to measure any changes.

"Dr. Karesh gets to use me as a guinea pig, and I get to play," Cote said, smiling.

* Center Dale Hunter missed his second playoff game in 14 seasons Thursday night. Today, he likely will miss his third.

Hunter said his status is day-to-day. But coach Jim Schoenfeld said, "Hunter won't be back in Game 4."

CAPITALS TONIGHT

Eastern Conference playoffs

Game 4

Opponent: Pittsburgh Penguins

Site: USAir Arena, Landover

Time: 7:38

TV/Radio: HTS/WMAL (630 AM)

Tickets: Sold out

Outlook: The Capitals report D Sylvain Cote (fractured right orbital bone) is day-to-day but expected to play, C Dale Hunter (hip flexor) is day-to-day but not expected to play and D Jim Johnson (knee ligaments) is out. Pittsburgh reports D Greg Hawgood (bruised shoulder) and D Peter Taglianetti (bruised voice box) are day-to-day.

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