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Capitals’ Evgeny Kuznetsov leaves game early with undisclosed upper-body injury

Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov’s status for Sunday’s game is uncertain. (Amber Searls/USA Today Sports)
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Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury at the end of the second period of Friday night’s win against the New York Islanders. The team announced that Kuznetsov would be reevaluated Saturday, so his status for Sunday’s game in Philadelphia is unclear.

Kuznetsov was slashed on the left hand or wrist by New York’s Thomas Hickey, and he collided with the end boards, crunching that same left arm against the wall. Kuznetsov was down in pain for several seconds before the Capitals’ head trainer tended to him on the ice. He then went straight back to the locker room and didn’t return.

Coach Barry Trotz didn’t provide an update.

With 11 games left in the regular season, losing Kuznetsov for any extended period of time would be an obvious blow. For the past week, he’s centered a top line with Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson. He’s second in scoring to Ovechkin with 21 goals and 50 assists. The Capitals signed the 25-year-old to an eight-year deal worth $7.8 million annually this summer, and he has played in at least 80 games for the past three seasons.