Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said Orpik is “day-to-day” and the team “will monitor him.” Orpik wasn’t at practice on Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center, and based on line rushes, defenseman Taylor Chorney would seem to get the nod on the third pair with Dmitry Orlov. Nate Schmidt skated with John Carlson as a second pair.
The Capitals aren’t strangers to playing without the veteran blue-liner. He missed 40 games this season because of a lower-body injury, and in that span, the Capitals lost just six regulation games. Chorney played that entire stretch, and he had one goal and five assists and was a plus-eight. Washington could decide to go with Mike Weber because he’s more of a physical presence than Chorney, and the series has been bruising.
“We’re really deep at that position,” Trotz said. “Obviously, we’ve got eight defensemen that are capable at the NHL level. … That’s an area that I think is a strength for our team. I anticipate that whoever steps up, it’s next-man-up mentality. Brooks will miss this next game, and we’ll see where he is after.”