The already-shorthanded Washington Capitals had a rough go of it on Friday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, being what T.J. Oshie called “a step behind” and losing Martin Fehervary and Tom Wilson to injury. Now, as they look to rebound against the Buffalo Sabres, they’ll be without one of those pieces, while another may lace ’em up after all.
Per head coach Peter Laviolette, Martin Fehervary will take warm-ups and see how he feels, and is a game-time decision. Tom Wilson, however, stayed in D.C. and did not travel with the team as it embarks on a three-game road swing. He is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Fehervary left Friday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins with an “upper-body injury” after taking a high hit to the head from Brock McGinn. To make matters worse, Washington also saw Tom Wilson exit and not return after he slid hard into Tristan Jarry at the end of the second period.
READ MORE ON WHN: Takeaways From Capitals’ 4-2 Loss To Pittsburgh Penguins
Both players are vital to Washington’s top line and defensive pairing. Wilson has helped drive success on the Capitals’ first trio with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. He has nine goals and 24 points through 27 games this season and has been playing a more responsible all-around game.
Fehervary, meanwhile, has hit the ground running in his rookie year, taking on the role of a top-pairing defenseman with aplomb. Alongside John Carlson, the 22-year-old has been an outstanding shutdown defenseman, utilizing his size and speed to keep the puck out of danger. Through 27 games, he has two goals and five points and leads all Washington skaters in blocks (42) while ranking third in hits (72).
With Wilson out, Mike Sgarbossa will draw in as the only extra forward left on the roster. And, if Fehervary can’t go, Dennis Cholowski is the last healthy defenseman remaining, as Trevor van Riemsdyk remains on the COVID-19 protocol.
Vitek Vanecek is expected the start. Through 13 games this season, he is 4-3-5 with a .905 save percentage and 2.56 GAA. Ilya Samsonov started the first game of the back-to-back. Meanwhile, Zach Fucale is on the roster as a precaution.