COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Washington Capitals will be without forward Tom Wilson for a second straight game after he suffered a concussion in Tuesday night’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights, and in a Saturday matchup between the top two teams in the Metropolitan Division, the Capitals also may be down another forward against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Washington recalled Riley Barber from the American Hockey League on Friday because “more than one guy” is under the weather and considered questionable, Coach Todd Reirden said.
Other than Wilson, who hasn’t skated since his bare head hit the ice in Las Vegas, the Capitals had a full attendance at Saturday’s morning skate.
“That’s just protecting ourselves,” Reirden said of Barber’s recall. “Hopefully everyone will continue to be healthy as we get closer to the game tonight. But if not, Riley’s played really well and deserves the opportunity.”
Before getting hurt, Wilson had eight goals and six assists in 11 games. Forward Andre Burakovsky will again skate in Wilson’s top-line right wing spot Saturday night.
To make roster room for Barber’s recall, the Capitals placed forward T.J. Oshie, who also has a concussion, on injured reserve. The move is retroactive, and because Oshie already has missed 10 games, he can be activated at any time.
Oshie didn’t join the team on this three-game trip, but he’s been skating back in Washington, and he could participate in practice Monday. It’s unclear if he would be ready to play his first game in a month Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings.
“We’re going to continue to evaluate, but he’s making progressions,” Reirden said.
Barring last-minute lineup changes because of illness, Barber and defenseman Christian Djoos are expected to be the healthy scratches against the Blue Jackets, meaning rookie Jonas Siegenthaler will play in a second straight game for the first time all season.
“I wanted to see him in back-to-back situations, especially against an opponent like this, a team that comes hard on the forecheck,” Reirden said. “He’s played them already, so sometimes a little more familiarity for a guy like him gives him a better chance to success. We wanted to get him back in there again. I think he’s been fairly poised out there, and to me, he adds some size to our blue line and we look to try to use him a little bit more on the penalty kill actually, if we are in that situation tonight.
“That’s just kind of where we see him down the road in his future in our blue line. For me, with the injuries and suspensions we’ve had to go through this year, it’s about opportunity and guys taking advantage of it.”
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