With injuries mounting, the Capitals recalled Anthony Peluso from the minor league Hershey Bears on Friday afternoon.
Peluso, a tough, 6 foot 3, 225-pound right wing, will join the Caps ahead of their back-to-back games in Edmonton and Calgary on Saturday and Sunday.
The move was necessary because winger Brett Connolly figures to be sidelined this weekend after leaving Thursday’s 6-2 loss in Vancouver in the second period. Connolly absorbed a hard hit from Erik Gudbranson and was placed in the concussion protocol.
Why did Peluso get the call over some of the organization’s prospects? Edmonton has some rugged players up front, like Zack Kassian, Milan Lucic and Patrick Maroon, and Peluso’s presence will add some physicality while also taking some pressure off of Tom Wilson, who scrapped with Gudbranson.
Peluso, 28, appeared in 142 games for the Jets from 2012-13 to 2015-16, scoring four goals and amassing 209 penalty minutes. He signed with Washington this summer and was one of the last players cut in training camp.
To make room for Peluso on the 23-man roster, forward Tyler Graovac (upper body, week-to-week) was placed on injured reserve.
After enjoying a couple of mostly healthy seasons, the Caps now find themselves dealing with some significant injuries.
No. 1 defenseman Matt Niskanen is on long term injured reserve with an upper body injury and winger Andre Burakovsky is out until mid-December because of a broken thumb that required surgery. Add to that Graovac and Connolly, and that’s four players who were in the opening night lineup who won't be available as the Caps attempt to snap a two-game slide against Connor McDavid and Co.
On top of the injuries, Nicklas Backstrom is still a bit of a question mark after missing the Vancouver game with an illness. He’s listed as day-to-day.
If Backstrom is able to suit up, however, the Caps will have 13 healthy forwards, meaning someone will sit.
The Caps did not practice on Friday upon arrivinng in Edmonton.