The Washington Capitals put together a big, comeback victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night. The veteran-laden Caps travelled home from New York the night prior and met up with a young, rested Sabres team in DC.
It took overtime and a shootout for the final horn to be sounded but when it did, the Caps won 5-4. The victory didn’t come without its lumps though as four different Caps players went through spells of injury uncertainty.
The only one that left the game and never returned was defenseman Nick Jensen.
Jensen left the game with an undisclosed injury that was not apparent at any point of the game. Jensen did not take a shift from the 7:30 mark of the third period.
The blow to Jensen came after TJ Oshie went to the locker room and came back, Rasmus Sandin went to the locker room and came back, and Tom Wilson limped back to the bench after blocking a shot. It was a parade of concern as the Caps tried to comeback.
Oh no! That hit on Sandin’s knee looked bad. 😣 #CapsSabres #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/2F6joArXE1
— Cynthia Adler (@Cynthia_Adler) March 16, 2023
Head coach Peter Laviolette didn’t have much of an update on his downed rearguard in his postgame press conference.
“I don’t have an update on [Jensen] yet,” Laviolette said. “Rasmus came back. I don’t have an update on Jensen. We’ll sort out all this and if there’s anything we’ll let you know.”
Jensen recently missed three games in early March with an upper-body injury that he suffered against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Caps are already without forward Sonny Milano who has missed the past two games with a non-COVID illness. Captain Alex Ovechkin was a game-time decision due to a lower-body injury that kept him out of the loss to the Rangers. Ovechkin potted a goal and set up another on Wednesday.
“[Ovechkin playing] was in question this morning,” Laviolette said. “If there’s a chance that he can play, he’s gonna play. We needed him out there. I thought under the circumstances of what he dealt with yesterday, last night, and this morning getting ready – he gave us what he had.”
Outside of individual availability concerns, the Capitals also faced some adversity with mother nature as they tried to fly home from New York on Tuesday. Heavy winds delayed their takeoff from the airport.
“I just think the guys were really resilient tonight,” Laviolette said. “The game didn’t go the way we wanted last night. After the game it didn’t go exactly as planned either, getting home at a tough hour. The [Sabres are] here, they’re young, they’re waiting. Points are important for them as well. We dig ourselves a hole and we keep fighting out of it. Couple guys get dinged up on the backend. Just keep pushing through it.”
After the game, the Caps now sit with 73 standings points. The Sabres have 72 and still have two games in hand. Neither team is close to the Islanders’ 78 points which is the current number to beat for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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