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Just as Matt Niskanen returns, injury will keep Christian Djoos out at least one game


Just as Matt Niskanen returns, injury will keep Christian Djoos out at least one game

Defenseman Christian Djoos is day-to-day with an upper body that he suffered Tuesday night in Nashville.

The rookie did not practice on Wednesday in Denver and will not play Thursday night against the Avalanche, Coach Barry Trotz told reporters. 

Djoos saw just 5:48 on 11 shifts against the Predators before exiting in the second period.

“I don’t have a time frame,” Trotz said, asked how long Djoos is expected to miss.


With Djoos out, Trotz said that Taylor Chorney will draw back into the lineup against the Avs. It'll be game No. 15 this season for Chorney, who appeared in only 18 contests a year ago.

“There’s a lot of work that goes into it that not everyone is seeing every day, staying ready and mentally sharp,” Chorney told team reporter Mike Vogel, “because you never really know when you’re going to get the call. It is nice when you get a stretch of games where you can get some consistent minutes and build some confidence because then, if you get taken out again, you can fall back on that and know that you had that stretch where you felt good and kind of just pick up where you left off.”

During Wednesday’s practice at Pepsi Center, Chorney was paired with rookie Madison Bowey, according to Vogel. That puts Chorney, a left shot, on his natural side for a change.

As for Djoos, the 23-year-old Swede had appeared in 16 straight games before getting hurt, racking up two goals, an assist and a plus/minus rating of plus-four. His goal total is tied with John Carlson for the team lead among blue liners, while his plus/minus rating is the third-best on the team behind Chorney (plus-eight) and Chandler Stephenson (plus-six).

Djoos’ absence against the Avalanche will mark the 45th man game lost to injury or illness this season for the Caps. They lost a league-low 48 all last year.



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4 reasons the Caps lost to the Islanders


4 reasons the Caps lost to the Islanders

A red-hot Capitals team traveled to Brooklyn where they were handed a 3-1 loss by the New York Islanders. Washington gave up an early goal in the first period and two early goals in the second that ultimately put the game out of reach.

Here is how it happened.

The first 94 seconds of the second period

The Caps trailed 1-0 at the end of the first and seemed fortunate to be down by only one. That luck ran out very quickly in the second period. Andrew Ladd scored just 36 seconds into the period and John Tavares added another just 58 seconds later. A 1-0 deficit turned into a 3-0 deficit in just 94 seconds.

Defensive breakdowns

Braden Holtby was pulled in the second period after giving up three goals, but if is hard to put this loss on Holtby's shoulders. He did not get much help at all from the defense as the Caps were frequently caught out of position by the Islanders. Watch how little movement there is from the players in white on this play.

Josh Bailey found himself in the middle of four Caps players, none challenged him and, even worse, no one covered John Tavares. It was an easy pass for Bailey and an easy goal for Tavares.

No sustained offensive pressure

The Islanders entered the game ranked 29th in goals against per game, yet the Caps could not take advantage. Washington fired 32 shots on goal, but could not create much sustained offensive pressure. There were not many cycles, not many won puck battles in the corners, not many second-chance opportunities, not many opportunities at all. Even the Caps' lone goal came from an end-to-end drive that Dmitry Orlov fired into the net.

Jaroslav Halak

While the Caps did not have many high-quality opportunities, the few they did have Jaroslav Halak was able to turn aside and he made it look easy. Halak has not had a great season, but you would not have known it given the way he played on Monday. He looked very comfortable in net, even when the Caps did manage to pressure him and recorded 31 saves on the night.

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3 stars of the game: Caps' home magic doesn't follow them to Brooklyn


3 stars of the game: Caps' home magic doesn't follow them to Brooklyn

The Caps saw their four-game win streak come to an end on Monday in a 3-1 loss at the hands of the New York Islanders.

Washington found themselves trailing 1-0 less than three minutes into the game. New York jumped out at the start of the second period as well with two goals in 94 seconds to take a 3-0 lead and end Braden Holtby's night.

Dmitry Orlov got Washingtoni on the board in the third period, but it was too little, too late.

Here are the three stars of the game.

1. Andrew Ladd

The Caps did not have a great first period, but still find themselves trailing by only one. Ladd's goal just 36 seconds into the second period was a crucial one as the Islanders really cemented their control. He was a dominant force offensively all game even if it only translated into one point for him on the scoresheet. Ladd recorded a team-high six shots on goal.

2. Jaroslav Halak

What is about the Caps for this guy? Halak has not had a great season by any means, but he looked like vintage Halak in this one. You wouldn't know it from the score or the flow of the game, but the Caps actually had more shots on goal. Halak turned aside 31 of those shots to stifle any comeback hopes for Washington.

3. Philipp Grubauer

When the score was 3-0, Barry Trotz elected to make a goalie change and in stepped Grubauer. It's always a tough task to come into a game cold, but it was an even tougher situation considering that the Caps weren't doing much defensively to help their netminder. Grubauer, however, played exceptionally well.

Even under a frequent barrage from the Islanders, Grubauer stopped all 17 shots he faced keeping it close on the scoreboard even if it did not feel all that close at all.