If there’s one thing the Capitals can’t afford this season is an injury to one of their veteran defensemen. After losing Karl Alzner, Nate Schmidt, and Kevin Shattenkirk over the offseason, the Capitals are paper thin at defense.
Late in the second period, that worst case scenario played out when Matt Niskanen, arguably the team’s best defenseman, was forced to leave the game after an apparent hand injury.
Nisky was injured after a slash by Jimmy Hayes while chipping a puck out of the zone.
Here’s another look.
Niskanen was in considerable pain on the bench before leaving for the locker room.
Niskanen would not return for the third period as the Caps termed the defenseman’s ailment as an upper-body injury. He will be re-evaluated tomorrow.
#Caps Matt Niskanen (upper body) will not return to tonight’s game and will be re-evaluated tomorrow.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) October 14, 2017
Update, Saturday AM: In the comments, Scott pointed to the injury possibly occurring a few seconds earlier. It appears he’s right. At 4:12, Niskanen and Hayes run into the boards together.
Niskanen can be seen cradling his arm at 4:10, but still manages to get the clear at 4:05 despite the slash from Hayes. Niskanen leaves the ice at 3:57.
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