WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Washington Capitals didn’t see Tom Wilson take the ice for Sunday’s optional skate after a dominant Game 3 win over the Florida Panthers, and the team is still waiting on whether or not he could return for Game 4.
Head coach Peter Laviolette didn’t go into much detail regarding No. 43 and his status ahead of Monday’s tilt, maintaining that Wilson remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Laviolette added that he will have more on Wilson’s availability for Monday after the team’s morning skate ahead of Game 4.
“I’m gonna answer just today on the day-to-day. I’ll leave the second day for a comment tomorrow. Day-to-day,” Laviolette said with regard to the 28-year-old.
Wilson skated just 1:31 minutes in Game 1, opening the series scoring with a power-play goal early in the first period after taking a stick up high. He then left the game and did not return following a missed hit on MacKenzie Weegar in the corner. Although he returned to the bench and took a whirl during a TV timeout, he did not play another shift. He has not skated since.
The Capitals had recalled Brett Leason ahead of Game 2 to help fill Wilson’s void. However, the 6-5 forward skated just seven minutes in his playoff debut and was sent back down after Game 3.
Washington has since had to fill a major void left by Wilson. The team not only lost one of their top physical presences but a player who can also produce and play a strong role at both ends of the ice.
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“He’s as competitive and as hard a player, and he epitomizes the power forward playoff kind of player, how important he is to that team,” Florida head coach Andrew Brunette said. “Definitely for them, losing him hurts… he brings that component to the game. He brings an edge and he brings a hardness that you have to be very aware of, and he’s got some skill. He’s a very valuable player to their team.”