Time will tell if Dmitry Orlov will find a permanent home on the Capitals blue line this season.
For now, the slick-skating 20-year-old Russian is filling in for Mike Green as he works to get back from a groin injury that is more serious than first suspected.
On Monday night Orlov became the second Capitals rookie to make his NHL debut this season top forward prospect Cody Eakin was the first on Nov. 1. and coach Bruce Boudreau was impressed with the rookie's performance in just under 12 minutes of ice time.
I was very happy with him, Boudreau said. He looked very composed. I thought he did a great job, I really did.
Paired with Karl Alzner, who moved from his normal right side to the left, Orlov took 12 shifts, delivered three hits, blocked one shot and committed one turnover. He was on the ice for John Carlsons goal in the second period and had a Ray Whitney rebound tick off his skate and onto the stick of Lauri Korpikoski for a goal in the third period. He finished the night even on the plus-minus ledger.
He didnt try to do too much in his first game, Boudreau said. He stayed back when there were probably times he was itching to jump in. He played it smart. He took a lot in in the last 24 hours all in English and he played it well.