Dmitry Orlov has been suspended two games for his knee on Nikolaj Ehlers in the Washington Capitals’ 4-3 overtime victory over the Winnipeg Jets.
Orlov had his hearing with the NHL Department Of Player Safety on Wednesday. The play happened late in the third period of Tuesday’s tilt, with the Russian blueliner colliding knee-on-knee with Ehlers. Ehlers stayed down for a moment before an athletic trainer helped him to the Jets bench. There was no call on the play, and Dave Lowry said postgame that Ehlers would miss the next game due to the resulting injury.
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This is the second suspension of Orlov’s career, his last coming in 2014 when he sat out for two games for boarding Brayden Schenn. As for the Capitals, this is the first time in the regular season they have seen a player suspended. Dylan McIlrath had been suspended four games in the preseason for a high hit on Steven Fogarty in a game against the Bruins.
It leaves another void to fill for Washington, who is already without John Carlson (COVID-19 protocol) on the backend. The Capitals have a number of options to help fill in, including Michal Kempny and Matt Irwin. Still, Orlov’s absence will be felt as he has been a staple on the top-4 this season.
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Through 38 games this year, Orlov has five goals and 19 points. The 30-year-old also ranks second among defensemen in average ice time per game with 21:01 minutes.
Orlov’s first game served will be on Thursday, when Washington heads to Beantown to face the Bruins. Not only will Orlov and Carlson be out, but Conor Sheary remains on COVID-19 protocol and T.J. Oshie is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. He will also miss Saturday’s tilt with Ottawa and is eligible to return for Monday’s game against Vegas.