It’s been a bit of a hectic ride for the Washington Capitals after a sensational 6-1 blowout win over the Flyers in Game 3. First off, Dmitry Orlov survived a bracelet thrown at him and a scary hit in Game 3, while Brooks Orpik sustained an upper-body injury in Game 3.
The scariest moment came the morning after that intense game, when Braden Holtby and a teammate collided at practice. He left the ice, but then later turned out to be fine.
Trotz told CSN that Holtby was “nicked up,” but didn’t “anticipate him not playing” Game 4.
Washington Post reporter Isabelle Khurshudyan reports that Holtby himself said he is good to against the Flyers in Game 4. He hopes to keep the ball rolling and help Washington sweep the Flyers Wednesday night.
Holtby is undefeated so far this postseason and has stopped 91 of 93 shots that have come his way. The Capitals are not expected to call up another goaltender, and everything is expected to stay the same way it was.
However, the team will face a devastating loss, as Orpik will sit for Game 4. He left Game 3 after being hit by Ryan White. The Capitals thankfully have defensive depth with Matt Niskanen, John Carlson and Karl Alzner filling out the rest of that top four, but they will surely need to step up in place of Orpik, who plays an incredibly strong defensive game.
In his absence, defenseman Taylor Chorney will draw into the lineup. The choice was between him and defenseman Mike Weber, and both players understand how critical this game is. as Washington faces the opportunity to sweep the series and move one step closer to the Stanley Cup.
“Anytime you lose a guy like Brooks Oprik, with his experience, he’s been through the grind before, it’s tough,” Chorney told NHL.com. “You can probably say I don’t think anybody’s going to go in there and do what he does. I think as a group, we’re all confident no matter who’s in there that we can go in and get the job done.”
Trotz considers Orpik day-to-day and says that they will continue to monitor the injury, as well as his recovery.
The Capitals held an optional skate Wednesday morning, and Philip Grubauer alternated a bit with Holtby, but the latter spent more time stretching and talking to goaltending coach Mitch Korn. Ten other Capitals reported to the skate.
Present at optional skate: 6, 4, 88, 46, 49, 43, 65, 83, 25, 26, 77
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) April 20, 2016
Lines are expected to remain the same, and Washington will look to finish off the Flyers at 7 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center.
Sammi Silber covers the Capitals beat for The Hockey Writers and is an NHL contributor with Sporting News. She has also contributed to USA TODAY College, Huffington Post, FanSided and the Nation Network. Silber has written four books and recently worked on graphics for the film, The California Golden Seals Movie.