The Washington Capitals have yet another injury blow to deal with.
Nick Jensen, a stalwart on their blueline this season and one-half of the team’s shutdown pairing with Dmitry Orlov has been downgraded to week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Head coach Peter Laviolette gave the news to reporters after Monday’s morning skate before the Caps take on the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Capitals announced they were placing him on injured reserve through their PR channels. The move will require Jensen to miss at least a week of action retroactive to his last game. That means he will be forced to miss the next two games against the Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks.
“Jensen is week-to-week,” Laviolette updated the media. “It was an in-game thing, he got hit. Just for further evaluation, it’s week-to-week.”
Jensen last played January 20 against the Boston Bruins, skating 11:35 of ice time before leaving after the second period with the aforementioned upper-body injury. He had multiple, notable run-ins with Bruins forward Brad Marchand in the game.
The 31-year-old defenseman looked to try and make the morning skate before the Capitals game against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday but left the ice before the official skate began and hasn’t returned since.
Jensen plays the third-most minutes per game among the Capitals’ regular defensemen (20:00) and is heavily relied on with Orlov for defensive zone responsibilities. Only the forward line of Nic Dowd, Carl Hagelin, and Garnet Hathaway have more defensive zone shift starts this season at five-on-five than Jensen does (98). He only starts his shifts in the offensive zone 36.8-percent of the time.
In those minutes at five-on-five with Jensen on the ice, the Capitals see 52-percent of the shot attempts, 50.9-percent of the expected goals, and almost a dead-even split in scoring chances which is good given the zone start context earlier. He has 11 points in 39 games this season.
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