SUNRISE, Fla. -- Tom Wilson will be out for Game 2 of the Capitals' Stanley Cup playoff series against the Florida Panthers on Thursday night, coach Peter Laviolette said at his post-practice press conference.
Wilson (lower-body) was absent from the team’s skate at FLA Live Arena on Thursday morning. In his place, the Capitals recalled rookie Brett Leason from AHL Hershey and immediately put him into the lineup on the fourth line where he will skate with veterans Nic Dowd and Johan Larsson.
Wilson made a large impact in just three shifts in Game 1 before leaving with a power-play goal scored and a penalty drawn. Now, the Capitals will do their best to replace one of the fixtures of their lineup.
The right winger left Game 1 in the first period, though he twice appeared to try to return to the game. He came back to the bench in the first period but did not get back on the ice. Then during a break in the second period Wilson came back to take a brief practice skate. He left the ice shortly thereafter and did not return.
“Right now Tom is day-to-day,” Laviolette said. “We always hope for the best with players. He’s listed as day-to-day, and hope to see him down the road.”
Wilson’s absence will be a major focus of Game 2, as the Capitals have lost one of their best offensive players, a standout defensive forward and a team leader in the locker room. Wilson had a career-best in goals (24), assists (28) and points (52) this season.
The Capitals lead the best-of-seven 1-0, but Wilson’s absence will hang over the series as long as he’s in the press box considering the physical style Washington wants to play against the speedy Panthers.
Here were the revamped forward lines at practice:
Ovechkin — Kuznetsov — Sheary
Johansson — Backstrom — Oshie
Mantha — Eller — Hathaway
Larsson — Dowd — Leason
All first-round games of Capitals vs. Panthers will be available regionally on NBC Sports Washington and streamed live on the MyTeams app.