After scoring an empty-net goal to seal the win for the Capitals on Thursday night, Lars Eller missed practice Friday to tend to an upper-body injury.
It’s the second maintenance day Eller’s needed this week.
Eller missing practice was reported by Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan. Travis Boyd filled in as the third-line center, as he did on Monday.
Ovechkin – Backstrom – Wilson
Hagelin – Kuznetsov – Oshie
Vrana – Boyd – Connolly
Burakovsky – Dowd – Stephenson
Carlson – Jensen
Orlov – Niskanen
Orpik – Djoos
Head coach Todd Reirden said that Eller is expected to play again on Saturday afternoon for Game Two.
Reirden said Eller is expected to play tomorrow. Just maintenance today, same as the other day.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) April 12, 2019
Eller’s injury first became public on Monday when he mysteriously left practice early. It was the same day that his car broke down on Glebe Road on the way to Medstar Capitals Iceplex. Fans and reporters speculated that he left the ice to deal with his car.
After practice, Reirden said that it was just “a maintenance day for him, upper-body, where no sense doing any more than we needed to today.”
Eller played over 19 minutes during Game One, including a 1:23 of ice time on the power play and nearly four minutes on the penalty kill. Eller was the fourth-leading forward in terms of TOI, coming behind only Evgeny Kuznetsov (20:37), TJ Oshie (19:59), and Tom Wilson (19:48).
During Eller’s last shift of the game, he scored the empty-net goal from nearly 120 feet away that sealed the victory despite furious pressure from the Carolina Hurricanes.
Headline photo: NBC Sports Washington
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