The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Capitals’ injury issues deepen with defenseman Dmitry Orlov day-to-day

Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov appears to have suffered a lower-body injury in Saturday's loss to the Coyotes. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
3 min

Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov missed Sunday’s practice with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

Orlov took normal shifts in the first period of Washington’s 3-2 home loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday but did not play over the final 40 minutes. It is unclear when or how Orlov’s injury occurred. Coach Peter Laviolette did not offer any details Sunday.

Washington’s next game is Monday at home against Edmonton. The Capitals (5-6-2) are 0-2-2 in their past four games and have a daunting stretch ahead. They play Pittsburgh at home Wednesday, Tampa Bay at home Friday and the Lightning on the road Sunday before visiting Florida on Nov. 15.

Washington’s injury list is long: Beyond Orlov, Beck Malenstyn (finger), Nicklas Backstrom (hip), Tom Wilson (knee), Carl Hagelin (eye, hip), Connor Brown (knee), T.J. Oshie (upper body) and John Carlson (lower body) are out of the lineup.

Capitals collapse vs. Coyotes on a milestone night for Alex Ovechkin

Carlson was in a noncontact jersey at Sunday’s practice. The defenseman suffered a lower-body injury Oct. 29 in a win at Nashville and was placed on injured reserve. He is eligible to return Monday, but it does not appear likely he will suit up against the Oilers.

At Sunday’s practice, Erik Gustafsson took rushes with Trevor van Riemsdyk, Martin Fehervary was paired with Nick Jensen, and Lucas Johansen joined Matt Irwin.

Injuries are at the forefront, but the Capitals got an intriguing addition at Sunday’s practice. Forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel skated for the first time with the Capitals after they claimed him off waivers from Toronto on Saturday.

The 26-year-old played in six games with the Maple Leafs but did not post a goal or an assist. Toronto signed Aube-Kubel to a one-year deal in the offseason after he recorded career highs in goals (11), assists (11) and points (22) last season for the Stanley Cup-winning Colorado Avalanche.

Aube-Kubel, a right-handed shot, was chosen in the second round of the 2014 draft by Philadelphia. On Sunday, he skated as the fourth-line left wing with Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway.

“We like the way he skates and competes,” Laviolette said. “He has an impact on the game in a different way. It’s a starting point for that line. … He is one of the guys that leads the league in hits — is top 10 — plays the game hard, competes hard and is an easy guy to like.”

Aube-Kubel could add a spark to the lineup similar to the one Washington received Saturday from winger Sonny Milano. Milano played his first game with the Capitals and recorded 13:20 of ice time to go with three shots on goal.

“I thought he was good. I thought his line created a lot,” Laviolette said. “His line stayed in the offensive zone and had some looks and had some chances. I thought Sonny looked good.”