The Washington Capitals could see yet another player sidelined as they kick off their West Coast swing.
Lars Eller is questionable for Tuesday’s showdown with the Anaheim Ducks. He did not take the ice for Washington’s morning skate but did travel with the team on the road. It’s unclear if it’s injury-related or not.
“We’re working through some things in the room right now,” Laviolette told reporters. “We’ll have an update later.”
Laviolette didn’t clarify if that meant Eller would play or not.
Eller had a slow start to the season but has since heated up with points in three straight games, including his first goal of the season. The 32-year-old pivot is currently filling in for an injured Nic Dowd on the third line with Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and Garnet Hathaway. He has a goal and eight points through 15 games.
Washington called up center Garrett Pilon from the Hershey Bears on Monday before embarking to California. Pilon, who leads Hershey with 11 points this season, took Eller’s place on the third line during Tuesday’s practice.
Nic Dowd and T.J. Oshie are also on the trip, and Dowd is eligible to come off the injured reserve. Oshie also skated with the team for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury on Oct. 27 against the Detroit Red Wings. Both were taking part in drills at the skate. Nicklas Backstrom is still skating on his own back in D.C.
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If Eller doesn’t play, the Capitals will be without three of their regular top-4 centers.
Here are what the lines look like heading into the game against Anaheim, per The Washington Post‘s Samantha Pell.
Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Tom Wilson
Conor Sheary-Connor McMichael-Daniel Sprong
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby-Garrett Pilon-Garnet Hathaway
Carl Hagelin-Aliaksei Protas-Brett Leason
Martin Fehervary-John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen
Trevor van Riemsdyk-Justin Schultz