Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen played 10 minutes, 20 seconds on Wednesday night — more than 12 minutes below his average. That’s because a nasty collision with Philadelphia’s Radko Gudas forced Niskanen out in the second period.
The Caps report Niskanen has suffered a lower-body injury and will be re-evaluated on Thursday.
Justin Williams, the Capitals’ third-leading scorer (17 goals), will miss Wednesday night’s rivalry game against the Boston Bruins with a lower-body injury. Williams was unable to take warmups.
That’s bad news because Williams has dominated lately with the NHL’s first star of January, Evgeny Kuznetsov. Since the New Year, the three-time Stanley Cup champion has been the team’s finisher on the second line, ranking third in the entire NHL with eight goals. He’s also scored 15 goals in his last 26 games. According to the Capitals’ Mike Vogel, Williams had appeared in 425 of his last 426 games over the last 6 seasons.
Head coach Barry Trotz just announced that defenseman John Carlson is doubtful for the Capitals’ next game against St. Louis.
Last Thursday, Carlson left practice early. According to CSN Mid-Atlantic, Trotz described that injury as a lower body issue which required some “maintenance.” On Sunday, Carlson was unable to finish the Caps’ 5-0 thrashing of the Philadelphia Flyers. Carlson left the game in the first period. Later, the Capitals announced that Carlson was questionable to return after suffering a lower body injury. It’s unclear if Carlson aggravated the original practice injury or when the injury occurred.
In the second period, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin left the game after being tripped to the ice by Penguins defenseman Kris Letang. The injury was the only buzzkill of the evening in which the Capitals scored a touchdown (plus an extra point) against their biggest rival.
Several minutes later, Ovechkin would return and go out for a shift with the Capitals power play. In the third period, the Russian machine scored his eighth goal of the season.
On Thursday, former Capital Wojtek Wolski suffered a serious injury in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.
Wolski, who has five goals in 19 games for Metallurg Magnitogorsk, had to be stretchered off the ice after diving for a loose puck. Wolski collided with Barys’ Vladimir Markelov and crashed headfirst into the boards. Wolski laid on the ice motionless.
Metallurg had an update on Wolski’s condition Friday and it’s not good.
9:20pm Update: According to Mike Vogel, Chorney went through the concussion protocol and was cleared to return. He was back on the bench for the third period.
Original story: Defenseman Taylor Chorney was forced to leave the Caps’ preseason game in Carolina during the second period after absorbing a rough run behind the net from Hurricanes forward Phillip Di Giuseppe.
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