The Washington Capitals may be missing yet another key player due to injury.
Dmitry Orlov did not participate in the team’s practice on Sunday. The 31-year-old defenseman left Saturday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes with a lower-body injury and did not return.
Caps head coach Peter Laviolette told The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir that the Russian defender is “day-to-day”.
With Orlov absent the list of Capitals injuries now looks like this:
That’s over $40 million worth of cap hits on the shelf but a big $8 million chunk of that may be close to a return.
NBC Sports Washington’s Matt Weyrich reported that defenseman John Carlson skated with the team again in a non-contact sweater. The veteran blueliner is eligible to come off of injured reserve for the Caps’ game against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday if deemed healthy enough to play.
Carlson has missed the past four games with his own lower-body injury.
Here’s John Carlson in gear wearing the blue non-contact jersey pic.twitter.com/jWnwx2hORL
— Matt Weyrich (@ByMattWeyrich) November 6, 2022
Without Carlson, the Caps had been heavily leaning on Orlov to soak up extra minutes on the backend. Orlov is by far Washington’s ice-time leader this season, 30 minutes above Nick Jensen 277 after Saturday’s first period. They’ll need to find a new solution if neither minutes eater can suit up against Connor McDavid and the Oilers.
Lucas Johansen is the only current extra defenseman on the roster.
To soothe some of the depth concerns the team is facing due to the injury crisis, forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel was plucked off of waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Aube-Kubel skated with his new teammates for the first time and the rambunctious winger lined up with Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway on the team’s renowned checking fourth line.
The next week of games for the Caps would be a true test for the team even if they were fully healthy let alone in their current state. Their next five features home matchups against the Oilers, their rival Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Then it’s a quick road trip to Florida for another game against the Lightning and one more against the Florida Panthers.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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