After leaving Thursday’s game with an injury, Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen is absent from practice on Friday morning.
Update, 1 PM: Niskanen’s status is day-to-day. He will travel with the team.
In the third period of Thursday’s game, Niskanen collided with Canes center Clark Bishop while chasing a loose puck into the corner. Justin Williams added contact. Niskanen was not able to slow down or cushion his impact with the boards. He laid on the ice for a minute before leaving the ice under his own power. He did not return to the game.
No penalty was assessed on the play. The Canes scored shortly after, but the Caps won the game. Head coach Todd Reirden was given a game misconduct penalty at the end of regulation, presumably for discussions with officials relating to the injury.
Reirden indicated following practice that Niskanen’s status is day-to-day. We will supply an update when we have more information.
Niskanen has scored 15 points (five goals, ten assists) in 36 games — nearly all of which he has spent on the team’s nominal shutdown defensive pairing.
Meanwhile, WaPo’s Isabelle Khurshudyan reports that Brooks Orpik won’t be traveling to Ottawa with the team. Reirden’s previous indication of Orpik’s status was that the defenseman would return sometime after Christmas.
Reirden said Orpik won't play in Ottawa. He's "questionable" for Dec. 31 game vs. Nashville. Niskanen is considered "day to day" and will travel with the team to Ottawa tomorrow.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) December 28, 2018
Orpik, 38, has not played since October 27.
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