Andre Burakovsky's difficult season continued on Tuesday as the young winger was benched for the entire third period of Washington's 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Burakovsky's last shift of the game ended with 2:11 remaining in the second period. On the shift, Burakovsky turned the puck over at the blue line in the defensive zone, leading to a long-range shot from Cam Atkinson that was saved by Braden Holtby. For the game, he was a minus-1 with two shots on goal.
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Head coach Barry Trotz was not asked about Burakovsky after the game, but Injury was not a factor as a team official confirmed to NBC Sports Washington on Wednesday that Burakovsky not playing in the third period was a coach's decision.
It has been a difficult season for the 22-year-old winger who many hoped would be a breakout player in his fourth season with the team. A fractured thumb Burakovsky suffered at the end of October forced him to miss 20 games. In the 28 games he has played, he has failed to find the offensive consistency the team was hoping for with only four goals and 11 assists and has at times been a healthy scratch out of the lineup.
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Tuesday's performance was significant in that Burakovsky was reunited with Brett Connolly and Lars Eller, a line that played tremendously well together last season. With an off-day on Wednesday, Thursday will be our first chance to see if Burakovsky remains in the lineup for the second leg of the home-and-home against Columbus.