Andre Burakovsky has been placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury and will not travel with the Caps to Western Canada, Coach Barry Trotz said.
The team hopes to get a better feel for how long they’ll be without the 22-year-old winger after he sees a specialist on Tuesday afternoon.
“He’s going to miss some time,” Trotz said. “We don’t have the extent so that’s why he’s seeing the specialist. …All I know is he’s not on this trip and we’re gone for roughly a week.”
If Burakovsky misses any significant amount of time, it’ll be a blow for the player, who is under pressure to produce after signing a two-year, $6 million extension in the offseason, and the team, which doesn’t boast the scoring depth it’s had in recent years. In fact, the scuffling Caps (4-4-1) have been held to two or fewer goals in three of the last four games.
This marks the second year in a row that Burakovsky has gotten injured just as he was heating up. A year ago, he missed 15 games in the second half of the season with a broken right hand.
“We’ll see what the specialist says first, but he’s just finally broke through, got a goal [in Detroit] and we were hoping that would get him some traction,” Trotz said. “And then he got hurt. That was sorta like last year.”
The coach added: “It seems he’s got that gift of finally getting some traction and then getting hurt. We’ll see what the specialist says and go from there.”
With Burakovsky placed on IR, the Caps called up Chandler Stephenson from Hershey ahead of their three-game road trip that’ll make stops in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. Based on Tuesday’s line rushes, though, Stephenson won’t be in the lineup when the Caps visit Vancouver on Thursday night.
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Here’s how Trotz had the players lined up at KCI:
Wilson – Backstrom – Oshie
Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Chiasson
Vrana – Eller – Connolly
Walker – Beagle – Smith-Pelly
Djoos – Carlson
Orpik – Bowey
Orlov – Chorney