TORONTO — Washington Capitals center Lars Eller left the team and the NHL’s Toronto bubble Wednesday afternoon to be with his wife as they await the birth of their second child.

The departure came as no surprise to the organization, as all parties were informed about Eller’s decision to leave the bubble before the NHL restart. Eller’s wife, Julie, was expected to give birth Aug. 8, the day before the Capitals are scheduled to play the Boston Bruins in the team’s last game of the NHL’s round-robin, return-to-play tournament in Toronto.

The first round of the playoffs are scheduled to begin on Aug. 11.

“To be with his family is something that's important and we've made choices like that in the past with having guys miss games for the birth of children,” Coach Todd Reirden said in mid-July when asked about Eller leaving the bubble. “That obviously creates a little bit of a situation. He's a great player for us, especially come playoff time the success he's had for our team … certainly happy for him to be having a new addition join his family and join in the Caps' family.”

According to the league’s health and safety protocols, Eller must quarantine upon returning to the team until he can produce at least four consecutive negative tests over a four-day period. Eller becomes the second player to leave the bubble for the birth of a child, after Ivan Barbashev left the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Jordie Benn left his team in late July to go to Texas to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. He will rejoin the team shortly and have to follow the same protocols as players who left the NHL’s bubble and have to return.

In Eller’s absence on the third line, the team is expected to have center Travis Boyd fill the void. Boyd was taking shifts in Eller’s place on the third line during training camp and Reirden made it clear that Boyd would get the first crack in the lineup with Eller leaving. Boyd played in 24 games for the Capitals this season and tallied three goals and seven assists.

“I kind of view it as a big opportunity,” Boyd said in mid-July. “A chance to come in and hopefully play some games. For me personally, for someone who wasn’t playing a ton to finish the year, a chance to come in and hopefully help the team make a deep run here.”

In Eller’s 45 postseason games with the Capitals, he’s scored eight goals, tallied 19 assists and averaged 16:32 of ice time, including his 2017-18 postseason run in which he tallied a career-best 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists). In 69 games with Washington this season, Eller tallied 39 points (16 goals, 23 assists) and averaged 17:01 of ice time.