The Washington Capitals may be without one of its top players, Monday night.
Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov did not participate in the team’s morning skate and the team announced he would be a game-time decision against the Vancouver Canucks per The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir.
Kuznetsov also did not participate in Sunday’s optional skate.
The team officially said Kuznetsov missed the practice due to “maintenance.” It’s unclear what is ailing Kuznetsov or what might keep him out of the lineup.
“Nothing per se against Montreal,” Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said per The Washington Post’s Samantha Pell. “Just stuff we’re dealing with, with him. Inside the meetings today we’ll make a decision.”
Second-year player, Connor McMichael, replaced Kuznetsov at practice and lined up between Anthony Mantha and TJ Oshie on the second line.
Here’s how the #Caps are lined up this am ahead of VAN:
Extras: Kuznetsov (undisclosed), Snively and Irwin
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) October 17, 2022
McMichael has not suited up in any of the Capitals’ three games this season so far.
Kuznetsov registered his first point of the season, a primary assist on an Anthony Mantha goal, against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday while centering the Capitals’ second line. After getting 21 minutes of ice time in the first two games of the season, Kuzy skated a season-low 16:56 against the Habs.
Kuznetsov was one of the most durable players on the Capitals last season, playing in 79 of 82 games.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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