ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals will be without Anthony Mantha for a while. The Capitals announced that the 27-year-old underwent successful shoulder surgery after suffering an injury against the Florida Panthers. He will be out indefinitely, and there’s no current timetable for his return.
Washington placed Mantha on the injured reserve on Friday and recalled Aliaksei Protas from the Hershey Bears to help fill the void.
As NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti pointed out, Mantha had tried to hit Anthony Duclair in the right corner and missed. He was holding his left arm and did not return to the ice.
Mantha had six points in 10 games to open the season for Washington, including points in three of his last five. He was a vital part of the top-6, skating mainly on the second line with Lars Eller and Connor McMichael, as well as Daniel Sprong.
READ MORE ON WHN: Capitals Recall Protas, Place Mantha On IR
It’s another major loss for the Capitals, who are already without the services of Nicklas Backstrom (hip) and T.J. Oshie (lower-body). They currently have 13 healthy forwards and will continue to rely on their youth to help fill the void, including McMichael, Hendrix Lapierre and recent call-ups in Protas and Brett Leason.
“It’s a good challenge for our group. Obviously we miss those guys they’re great players… Our guys will have to step up and opportunity for somebody to take on some minutes or jump on a power play and contribute,” head coach Peter Laviolette said. “Nothing changes for us.”
Right now, it’s unclear what the plan is going forward when it comes to the lineup, but Lapierre will return for Saturday’s tilt with the Philadelphai Flyers. Backstrom is eligible to come off the LTIR on Saturday but is taking the time to fully recover. He has been skating in full gear on his own and will return to more intense practices when he’s comfortable. Oshie, meanwhile, is still out week-to-week with a lower-body injury.