The Washington Capitals are dealing with quite a few injuries on the main roster, and their AHL-affiliate Hershey Bears are also a bit banged-up.
Defenseman Lucas Johansen is out of the lineup with an undisclosed injury, along with forward Ethen Frank. Meanwhile, Alex Alexeyev is back in for the second game of his conditioning loan down in the AHL.
The 24-year-old was close to cracking the Capitals’ opening night roster and was the last fringe defenseman remaining at camp. However, he didn’t make the cut. The team stuck with Matt Irwin as the seventh defenseman and ran with 14 forwards up front. He has dealt with a myriad of injuries and adversity over his young career, which has made it difficult for the 2016 first-rounder to finally make the NHL jump. However, Johansen did make his NHL debut last season. Expect him to work to be part of the team’s d-corps in the near future, though, as he inked a two-year extension with the organization this offseason.
Johansen just skated in his 200th AHL game and has one goal through six games this season. In 201 AHL games, “LuJo” has 18 goals and 56 assists for 74 points and is a minus-4.
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Meanwhile, Alexeyev is still working his way back after undergoing shoulder surgery this offseason. The 22-year-old made his AHL debut on Friday, where he was a minus-1. He is a plus-1 so far through Sunday’s game against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
The plan is for Alexeyev to get back into game action with the Bears and then join Washington. He requires waivers to be sent down. so he will likely get a look as he gets back into full game shape. His return is welcome, as the team awaits an update on John Carlson‘s status. No. 74 went down with a lower-bdoy injury early in Saturday’s victory over the Nashville Predators.
In addition to Carlson, the Capitals are also waiting for word on T.J. Oshie, who also left Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury. Nicklas Backstrom (hip resurfacing surgery), Tom Wilson (ACL surgery), Carl Hagelin (hip surgery) and Connor Brown (lower body) are all also on the shelf.