Capitals place Nic Dowd on IR, recall Aliaksei Protas from Hershey


The Capitals were dealt another blow to their forward corps Monday morning when the team announced they placed center Nic Dowd (lower-body) on Injured Reserve. In his spot, the team recalled Aliaksei Protas from the Hershey Bears.

Dowd left Friday's practice after taking a fall at practice. He skated slowly to the bench, unable to put much weight on his left leg. He missed that night's game against the Coyotes. 

Dowd, the team's fourth line center, has one goal in six games so far this season. A year ago, he posted a career-best 11 goals in 56 games with the team. As the centerman for the team's standout fourth line with Carl Hagelin and Garnet Hathaway on his wings, he was a crucial penalty killer and provided timely offense. 

Protas, 20, has one goal and three assists in six gams for the Bears this season. He has yet to make his NHL debut and has played just 22 games as a professional in North America. At 6-foot-6, he should provide a physical presence to the bottom six whenever he makes his NHL debut. 

The Capitals now have Dowd and winger T.J. Oshie on Injured Reserve, with center Nicklas Backstrom on Long-Term Injured Reserve. The return dates of Oshie and Backstrom are not yet clear, meaning for now, the Capitals will roll with a bevy of rookies on their NHL roster.