Capitals fans hoping for some good injury news on center Brooks Laich didnt get it after Sundays 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.
Laich took a big hit from Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg midway through the second period and was seen leaving the Verizon Center on crutches, with a brace on his left knee.
Laich told reporters he did not think the injury is anything serious and that he is a quick healer. Capitals coach Dale Hunter said Laich is day-to-day and will be evaluated again on Monday.
Brooksie is one of those guys that tries to do anything for the team, Hunter said. Hes a team guy.
With about 8:25 remaining in the second period Laich beat Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg in a race for the puck, but was slammed into the boards behind the Bruins net. Laichs left leg appeared to get pinned along the boards.
We both had contact before we got to the puck, Seidenberg said. It was all fair and clean, jut unlucky.
Laich was helped off the ice and into the Capitals dressing room. A few minutes later, during a TV timeout, he returned to the ice for a brief trial skate, but after hunching over the Capitals bench in obvious pain he returned to the dressing room.
Laich is second among Capitals forwards in ice time this season, averaging 19:13 a game. Only Alex Ovechkin (19:31) has averaged more. In 52 games Laich has 10 goals and 18 assists and has been used in every situation, including playing defense.
We lost a warrior in Brooks, teammate Matt Hendricks said. Im not a hundred percent sure whats wrong with him, but well miss him. Hes a faceoff guy, a penalty kill guy, a power play guy. We miss him.
Yeah, hes a big part of our team, added Dennis Wideman. He plays against the top lines. It will be a big loss.
Laichs injury comes at a time the Capitals already are without two of their top stars. Nicklas Backtrom (concussion) missed his 14th straight game with a concussion on Sunday, while Mike Green (sports hernia surgery) has missed all but 10 games this season.
We lost Backy and Greener and we dont have that guy who can play the PK and forecheck (the way Laich does), Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said. But its OK. Its an opportunity for different guys to step up and show their leadership.
The Caps also lost defenseman Dmitry Orlov when his nose, which was broken 24 hour earlier in Montreal, was struck again by a puck with 11:54 remaining in the third period. This time it was a shot by Scott Thornton that deflected off the stick of Capitals defenseman Roman Hamrlik and into Orlov's face.
Orlov threw his helmet and gloves down in disgust as he made his way into the dressing room for repairs. Hunter said Orlov's eyes were too watery to allow him to return but that he does not expect him to miss Tuesday night's game against the Florida Panthers.