The Washington Capitals may get a major boost on the blue line on Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens with Dmitry Orlov potentially returning from injury.
Orlov took part in the team’s morning skate on Saturday, skating in his usual spot on the second pairing with Nick Jensen and taking part in rushes. He first missed Tuesday’s morning skate and the tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers due to a lower-body injury. He then sat out for Thursday’s game as well against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s unclear what the ailment is or when he suffered the injury.
Head coach Peter Laviolette gave an update on No. 9 after the morning skate, saying he is “hoping” Orlov will play on Saturday.
“We’re hoping [he plays],” Laviolette told reporters on Saturday. “Skated yesterday, he made it through okay. Skated this morning, looked good. I’ll get with trainers post-practice here and see what’s going on.”
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With Orlov out, Matt Irwin drew back into the mix and has been playing on the third pairing with Justin Schultz. Trevor van Riemsdyk moved up to fill in for Orlov on the top-4.
Orlov has been a vital part of the blue line this season, taking on major minutes and also contributing on offense. He has a career-high 11 goals and has also added 19 assists, and he has a +/- rating of plus-21. The 5-11, 214-pound d-man has been outstanding working alongside Nick Jensen, as the two have been able to play a shutdown game in their own end while efficiently moving the puck up ice.
Getting Orlov back in the mix would be great for the Capitals, who struggled with play in front of their own net in Thursday’s loss while surrendering seven goals to the Maple Leafs.