The Washington Capitals were without Dmitry Orlov at practice on Wednesday after the talented defenseman suffered an injury the day before.
With Orlov out along with star forwards TJ Oshie (illness) and Nicklas Backstrom (illness), Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette tinkered big time with the team’s lines and pairings.
Per the Washington Post’s Samantha Pell, fourth-line forward Garnet Hathaway skated on the first line with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov while Tom Wilson was placed with Conor Sheary and Lars Eller on the second. Connor McMichael, who was stapled to the bench against the Devils, was part of a young guns line with Daniel Sprong and Aliaksei Protas, which would likely not see much ice time if it holds.
Michal Kempny, who has played well in his return from Hershey, skated on the extra pairing while longtime Laviolette’er, Matt Irwin, was put on the third pairing with Justin Schultz.
While Laviolette said after practice that Orlov’s injury is considered day-to-day in nature, it’s unclear if it’s severe enough to keep him out of this weekend’s back-to-back series of games in the Central Time Zone. Orlov, who got treatment at MedStar Capitals Iceplex this morning, has not missed a game this season and posted 17 points (4g, 13a) in 34 games while playing primarily with Nick Jensen.
The Capitals will practice once more at MCI on Thursday before flying out to St. Louis for its game Friday.
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