The Washington Capitals saw yet another player go down with injury, and this time, it’s affecting the blue line. Justin Schultz will not return to Wednesday’s tilt with the Montreal Canadiens due to an upper-body injury.
It’s unclear what the exact play was, or the severity of the injury. He skated a total of 5:54minutes in the first period, picking up two shots on goal.
Through 20 games so far, Schultz has a goal and an assist and is a plus-2. He has been skating alongside Trevor van Riemsdyk on the third pairing so far this season, forming good chemistry with his fellow RHD.
This is the first injury to impact the defense this season. Right now, Washington is missing a total of five forwards in Nicklas Backstrom, Anthony Mantha, T.J. Oshie, Conor Sheary and Lars Eller.
The Capitals have Matt Irwin (left-hand shot) and Dennis Cholowski (right-hand shot) available on the backend to help fill the void if Schultz ends up being out for a bit. Cholowski made his season debut against the Seattle Kraken and had a bit of a rough showing. He blocked two shots and was a minus-2, and had a costly turnover that led to a Calle Jarnkrok tally in the second period in 9:57 minutes. Irwin has yet to draw in this season.
Both could get a potential opportunity; Irwin could play the left side with TVR moving back to his natural right side, or he could stay on the left and see Cholowski draw in.
Either way, the Capitals are down six men for now; Oshie and Mantha are the two players currently on the injured reserve, and Backstrom is on the LTIR. However, they’re seeing positive signs, as Backstrom skated with the team for the first time this season at Wednesday’s morning skate.