The Washington Capitals may have to deal with even more absences on Long Island, as defenseman John Carlson and forward Conor Sheary are not on the ice for warm-ups against the New York Islanders. Per the team, they are waiting on test results for the two.
In the meantime, the team has recalled defenseman Michal Kempny from the taxi squad.
Washington is already shorthanded in New York, with both Carl Hagelin and Dmitry Orlov on COVID-19 protocol. On the bright side, Alex Ovechkin, who has been dealing with an upper-body injury, is taking warm-ups and appears good to go.
Still, losing Sheary and Carlson would be a major blow with the Capitals looking to snap a four-game slide. Sheary has points in three of his last four games and five goals in his last nine outings overall. Carlson, meanwhile, ranks sixth in scoring among NHL defensemen this season. With him absent, the team is missing two of its top-4 defensemen.
Kempny came up to D.C. from Hershey back on Dec. 27 as Washington dealt with a COVID-19 outbreak on the blue line. He picked up an assist in his first game back and skated in three games, registering five hits and six blocks while averaging 19:44 minutes.
When it comes to filling in for Sheary, Aliaksei Protas and Mike Sgarbossa are both available.
*UPDATE: Conor Sheary has entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. John Carlson is cleared. Here’s everything to know.