The Washington Capitals will be without a key piece for Game 2 against the Florida Panthers on Thursday, as Tom Wilson will miss the team’s chance to go up 2-0 as he deals with an injury.
Head coach Peter Laviolette said after the morning skate in Sunrise that Wilson will not play on Thursday. He is being listed as day-to-day, which isn’t the worst sign going forward. Still, Laviolette wouldn’t go into details with regard to the severity of the injury or Wilson’s availability for Game 3.
Still, it will be a tough loss for the Capitals. Wilson opened the scoring in the series for Washington with an early power-play goal in Game 1 that helped set the tone in Florida. He skated just 1:31 minutes before exiting the game with the injury. And though he was on the bench and taking a spin during a TV timeout, he did not return for another shift. He received treatment for what the team is calling a lower-body injury back on Wednesday.
READ MORE ON WHN: Capitals-Panthers Game 2 News, Notes, Lines & Players To Watch
Wilson had a career year for the Capitals, putting up his first-ever 50-point campaign and dishing 24 goals. The 28-year-old also has a point in each of his last six playoff games.
With Wilson out, Brett Leason will likely make his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut. The Capitals recalled the 6-5 forward from Hershey on Thursday, and he took rushes as he filled the void on the missing lines with Wilson out. Leason slotted in on the fourth line with Nic Dowd and Johan Larsson. Meanwhile, Garnet Hathaway earned a promotion to the third line as T.J. Oshie took No. 43’s spot on the second line.
Leason, meanwhile, gets the call over extras Connor McMichael and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby. Leason is a right wing and brings more size to the table, and the rookie can also help fill in physically with Wilson out. The 23-year-old has also played on the fourth line before this season.