Winger Andre Burakovsky will be out until mid-to-late March with a hand injury, notes Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post (Twitter link). Rookie winger Zachary Sanford is expected to take Burakovsky’s spot in the lineup on Saturday against the Ducks but the team hasn’t decided if he or rookie winger Jakub Vrana will be in that spot beyond the weekend.
The injury, which was sustained last night in a victory over the Red Wings, will not require surgery, adds NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti. The 22 year old has 11 goals and 18 assists in 51 games this season but has been on a hot streak as of late, picking up 19 points (9-10-19) in his last 25 outings.
The Capitals have been healthy for the most part this season as they’ve missed only 19 man-games due to injury (the fewest in the league) but that total is set to grow as a result of this issue.
More from Washington:
- While the Capitals have often been known as a top regular season team, they’ve taken it to another level this year and as a result, Neil Greenberg, also of the Washington Post, believes this is the most dominating squad in their 42 year history. He notes a pair of key differences from previous versions of the team that have strong regular seasons only to fall short in the playoffs. The Caps have a strong third line that is controlling the play while deepening their lineup that much further. They also have ten different players with at least ten goals, a balanced attack that all teams covet especially as the playoffs hit. Washington finds themselves atop the NHL standings with 82 points through 55 games and it looks like they’ll once again be pushing for the Presidents’ Trophy for the second straight season. Though they fell short last year after losing in the second round, this roster may be better poised to push through the postseason.
- After a slow start to the season, winger Brett Connolly has found his niche with the Caps, suggests Tommy Chalk of the Washington Times. He spent time as a healthy scratch in the early going this season but has settled in nicely on their third line in recent weeks. Connolly is also starting to pick up the pace offensively as he matched his career high in goals with a marker last night while he also has a shot at besting his 25 point output with the Bruins last year. After failing to receive a qualifying offer from Tampa Bay and Boston over the past two summers, the 24 year old has a decent chance of ending that streak if he can keep up his play down the stretch.