Another night, another defensive injury for the Capitals. For the second straight game Washington was forced to play with five defensemen as Roman Hamrlik did not skate in the third period Saturday after suffering an undisclosed injury.
Hamrlik skated 9 minutes 22 seconds in the 3-2 shootout loss to New Jersey.
“He’s day-to-day. He got a cross-check and he’s fine,” Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “He’s not fine enough to play, but he, from what I’ve been told, is day-to-day.”
Although it’s not immediately apparent how the veteran defenseman was injured, Hamrlik took just three shifts in the second period and there was a significant gap between them. After Hamrlik wrapped up a shift with 12:59 remaining in the second he didn’t take another until there was 5:41 left in that same period. Hamrlik, 37, took another shift before the second intermission but didn’t return for the third.
Hamrlik’s absence put additional strain on an already depleted blue line. Both Mike Green and John Erskine were scratched for Saturday’s game with injuries, prompting the Capitals to use Brooks Laich on defense. (More on that on Sunday.)
It also resulted in Dennis Wideman playing a staggering 32:52 a night after he played 27:11 in New Jersey.
“I was starting to get a little tuckered at the end,” Wideman said. “But I think that’s when stuff like that happens, when there’s injuries, you just have to try to not push it too much. Try not to get out of position, try not to get caught and conserve what you can.”