The Washington Capitals held an optional practice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Monday before their game the next day against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Evgeny Kuznetsov was not on the ice for the skate.
Kuznetsov was the recipient of a high, blindside hit from Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba on Sunday that has him ailing.
The veteran Russian left that game, did not return, and according to NBC Sports Washington’s Matt Weyrich is now listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury by the Caps.
Dumba caught Kuznetsov primarily in the left shoulder with the hit and then followed through into his head. Kuzy could be seen rolling around on the ice in pain, clutching at his shoulder and flexing his hand.
Dumba was not penalized for the hit as the on-ice officials deemed it to be clean. Caps head coach Peter Laviolette was not happy with that decision.
“I don’t like the hit,” Laviolette said postgame. “You know what I mean? A player’s vulnerable like that, takes a pop at his head, I don’t like the hit.”
Caps forward TJ Oshie seemed to be in agreement on the ice as he immediately dropped his gloves and fought Dumba. Oshie received the only additional penalty on the play for instigating the fight and the Wild would score shortly after the ensuing power play expired.
If Kuznetzov is to miss Tuesday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, it would be his first absence due to injury this season. His only previous time out of the lineup was due to being suspended one game in mid-October for high-sticking the Vancouver Canucks’ Kyle Burroughs.
The Caps also have listed both defenseman Nick Jensen and number one goaltender Darcy Kuemper as day-to-day with their own respective upper-body injuries. Neither player dressed for Sunday’s loss in Minnesota, but unlike Kuznetsov, both of them were on the ice for Monday’s skate.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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