T.J. Oshie has entered the NHL's COVID-19 protocol and will be unavailable for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Kings, the Capitals have announced. In addition, the team has recalled Joe Snively from the Hershey Bears.
Oshie now joins Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom and Garnet Hathaway in COVID protocol.
"Obviously, it's not what you want. Backstrom, Kuznetsov and Oshie, lots of guys on your power play and top-six guys, but it is what it is," Washington head coach Peter Laviolette said. "We've got to move forward here. We'll see what we have available."
The news Sunday will force the Capitals to shuffle their lineup yet again and Sunday's morning skate offered few answers for what to expect for the game.
Snively, a native of Herndon, Va., could make his NHL debut as he skated on the second line with Aliaksei Protas and Conor Sheary. Snively currently leads the Bears in points (8 goals, 14 assists) with 22 in 21 games. Both he and Laviolette said after the morning skate, however, that he was on standby.
"He's worked hard," Laviolette said. "He put himself in a position to have his name called."
Hathaway may be nearing a return as he was on the ice for the morning skate, though he technically remains in protocol for now. Tom Wilson, who has been dealing with an upper-body injury, was on the ice as well. Neither Hathaway nor Wilson, however, took part in line rushes. Wilson stayed on after the morning skate for additional skating, something usually reserved for extras not playing in the game. Hathaway did not.
Hanging above everything is the possibility of more positive COVID tests. The team underwent testing on Sunday, but the results were still pending as the team skated. Oshie's positive test came on Saturday.
With so many questions, Laviolette had very few answers about what to expect the lineup to look like for the game. He confirmed only that Nic Dowd and Trevor van Riemsdyk would be back in after missing Friday's game in Winnipeg due to Canada's more strict border-entry provisions. Both played in Wednesday's game in Chicago.
The status of Snively, Wilson and Hathaway, however, is up in the air.
"TVR and Dowd will draw back in tonight," Laviolette said. "The other guys that are on the ice, I'm not sure. I've got to go in and assess things and see where everything's at."
Here are the lines from the morning skate:
Alex Ovechkin - Lars Eller - Daniel Sprong
Joe Snively - Aliaksei Protas - Conor Sheary
Carl Hagelin - Mike Sgarbossa - Brett Leason
Connor McMichael - Nic Dowd - Beck Malenstyn
Martin Fehervary - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Nick Jensen
Trevor van Riemsdyk - Justin Schultz
Vitek Vanecek will start in goal.