The Washington Capitals will again be shorthanded on the blue line against the Boston Bruins on Monday as Dmitry Orlov enters the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
Orlov made the road trip to St. Louis and Minnesota this past weekend, skating in both games against the Blues and Wild. He did not take part in Washington’s morning skate on Monday.
He is the 13th Capitals player to enter the COVID-19 protocol this season. The list includes Lars Eller, Nic Dowd, Garnet Hathaway, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dennis Cholowski, Martin Fehervary, Vitek Vanecek, Daniel Sprong, Justin Schultz and Nick Jensen.
With Orlov out, Trevor van Riemsdyk jumped up to the second pairing to skate with Nick Jensen, per The Washington Post‘s Samantha Pell. Matt Irwin appears to be drawing into the lineup with No. 9 on the shelf and taking TVR’s place alongside Justin Schultz.
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Orlov has been a fundamental part of the Capitals’ success on the blue line this season with four goals and 17 points through 36 games. He has three assists in his last five outings. He also leads all blueliners in takeaways (16), ranks second in hits (61) among Washington defensemen and also has 39 blocks this season.
On the bright side, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie took part in line rushes and appear likely to return to action. Both didn’t travel on the weekend road swing and have been out since the Jan. 3 game against New Jersey with non-COVID illnesses. The Capitals placed both of them on the injured reserve.