The team initially stated that Kuznetsov took a maintenance day for Thursday’s practice, but Reirden later said he wasn’t sure of Kuznetsov’s status moving forward.
“He wasn’t able to practice, and that is not a good sign,” Reirden said. “We will have to see how the rest of his day goes today and tomorrow.”
Dowd suffered a lower-body injury in the first period Tuesday. He was reevaluated Wednesday and labeled day-to-day Thursday. If Kuznetsov and Dowd are both unable to play Friday, Reirden said, the team will have to call up a player from its American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey, Pa.
Reirden said of Dowd playing Friday: "I hope so; we will see. He wasn’t able to practice with us today, so that is a little discouraging. But at least it seemed like he was able to do a little bit before and after. So, again, I’ll get updated on the trainer on that.”
After trying to avoid a hit in the first period of Tuesday’s game, Dowd crumpled while holding his right knee. He was helped to the dressing room but could not put pressure on the leg as he left the ice. He came back onto the ice during the first intermission but then skated right back down the tunnel. Dowd has been fighting to solidify his spot as the fourth-line center after starting the season splitting time in the role with Chandler Stephenson.
• Other injury news: Richard Panik (upper body), who was placed on long-term injured reserve Oct 18, was at the Capitals’ practice facility Thursday in a light blue noncontact jersey and skated at the tail end of the team’s practice. Reirden said Panik, who is not eligible to return until next week, is still on track to come back after his mandatory 10-game absence.
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