Tom Wilson was not on the ice again for the team’s morning skate in Sunrise on Wednesday, and he will miss Game 5 against the Florida Panthers as he continues to deal with a lower-body injury.
Head coach Peter Laviolette said on Thursday that Wilson remains day-to-day and will miss Wednesday’s Game 5 in Sunrise. Though he did make the trip to Florida for the now best-of-3 series, he did not skate and is likely around to support his club. This will be the fourth straight game that Wilson has missed after being hurt in the series opener.
Wilson skated just 1:31 minutes for the Capitals in Game 1, opening the series scoring with a power-play goal early in the game. However, after going in for a hit on MacKenzie Weegar, Wilson took the brunt of his own check as Weegar moved out of the way. He appeared to hurt his left leg on the play and went down the tunnel. Though he took a whirl during a media timeout and appeared again on the bench, he did not play another shift.
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It’s a tough situation for Washington, who is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 3-2 overtime loss in Game 4 and take control of the series against the Cats. Wilson is not only a top physical presence and leader but a versatile player who can log heavy minutes on special teams, kill penalties and contribute on the top-6. He has points in each of his last six playoff appearances.
“Obviously he’s one of the leader in the locker room and on the ice but it’s the playoffs, right? Anything can happen. That’s why we have different players who take responsibility, take his spot and play those tough minutes,” captain Alex Ovechkin said of Wilson.
Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. at FLA Live Arena.