ARLINGTON, V.A. — Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson revealed on Sunday that he suffered a “significant injury” that held him out of the lineup for the final five games of the first round against the Florida Panthers was in fact a season-ending ailment.
Wilson said that he suffered the injury early in Game 1, which resulted in him remaining out of the lineup and off the ice for a majority of the postseason. While he was working to try to get back as soon as possible, he revealed it would’ve been hard. He would not reveal the nature of the injury and didn’t know yet whether or not he will need surgery. He will take the offseason to recover.
In the opening minutes of Game 1, Wilson went in for a hit on MacKenzie Weegar along the boards. Weegar moved out of the way, and Wilson took the brunt of his own check. He ended up hurting his knee on that play and wouldn’t play another shift after skating just 1:31 minutes. He scored the series-opening goal for Washington.
It was a tough loss for the Capitals, who had to play without not only a top-6 forward who brings physicality, but a versatile player who could log heavy minutes on special teams and also pile on the pressure on offense. He had a point in six straight playoff games before going down with injury. He was listed as day-to-day for the remainder of the first round.
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The 28-year-old was coming off a career year that saw him put up a career-high 24 goals, 28 assists and 52 points through 78 games. His impressive play earned him a trip to the 2022 NHL All-Star Game and even consideration for a spot on the Olympic team before the NHL ultimately opted out of the international games.
With Wilson out, Washington dressed Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and Connor McMichael in his place. Anthony Mantha primarily skated in his place on the second line right wing, with Oshie ultimately filling that spot in Game 6.