NEWARK – While the Capitals finally managed to score a goal – their first in 149 minutes and 11 seconds – their lamentable offense took another hit Friday night in a 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils.
Mikhail Grabovski, who ranks third on the team in both points (33) and goals (12), left the contest in the middle of the second period after sustaining an apparent injury to his left leg. He did not return.
With 11:18 gone in the second period, Devils captain Bryce Salvador collided with Grabovski in front of the New Jersey net. Grabovski’s left leg and knee were twisted and pinned under Salvador as both players fell to the ice, leaving the veteran center in pain and slow to get up.
“We’ll have to wait and see how he is in the morning, hopefully not too bad,” Coach Adam Oates said. “Hopefully he can ice it overnight and we’ll see how it is, but [injuries are] part of the deal.”
Grabovski went out on the ice at the start of the third period, skated a few laps without putting much weight on his left leg but ultimately headed back to the dressing room. He didn’t return to the contest.
Already without Alex Ovechkin, who missed a second straight game because of a groin injury, the Capitals now could be without two of their most consistent top-six forwards. While Grabovski’s prognosis was uncertain immediately after the game, if he misses significant time it doesn’t bode well for Washington’s offense.
“Grabo’s obviously been huge for us all year, he’s played through a lot,” Jason Chimera said. “I don’t know what happened to him, it seemed like [Salvador] landed on him funny. Hopefully he’s all right and with a little maintenance he’ll get going tomorrow. He’s an important part of our team for sure, he’s been one of our best players all year.”