Andre Burakovsky is going to be sidelined with a hand injury, Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said after Thursday’s 6-3 win over Detroit.
Trotz said he’ll have more information on Burakovsky’s status on Friday.
“He’s going to miss some time here,” Trotz said. “It’s a hand injury. I’ll probably have a better update tomorrow, but he’s going to miss a little bit of time here.”
Asked if Burakovsky, who turned 22 on Thursday, will require surgery, Trotz said he did not know.
The Caps have been the NHL’s healthiest team this season. Entering the game, in fact, they had lost a total of just 19 man games. The Red Wings, meantime, had lost 222 man games.
With Burakovsky out, the Caps will turn to rookie Zach Sanford for Saturday’s game against the visiting Ducks. Sanford was recalled prior to Tuesday’s game just in case a forward went down.
That, however, doesn’t mean Sanford will be Burakovsky’s long term replacement if Burky misses a significant amount of time. Trotz said the situation will be reevaluated after the Anaheim game, which is the Caps’ last contest for a week.
“Zach Sanford…has done a really good job in Hershey,” Trotz said. “We’ll reassess it after [the bye week]. We’ve got five days to sorta figure out what we’re going to do there.”
After a slow start to the season, Burakovsky has come on strong the past six weeks. Trotz sat him out for three games in mid-December for lack of production. Since returning to the lineup, though, he’s got nine goals in 25 games. He’s also become an integral part of the third line alongside Lars Eller and Brett Connolly.
It would make sense for Sanford to slide into Burakovsky’s spot on that line in order to keep the other three forward combos intact.
Burakovsky was injured when he went down on one knee to block Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith’s blast from the point. He immediately skated to the bench and headed to the locker room while favoring his right hand.
“It’s something about Detroit,” Trotz cracked, referring to losing T.J. Oshie, Burakovsky and Lars Eller to injury in the teams’ previous meeting. “Last time we played them, we had three guys go out in the first period.”
MORE CAPITALS: Caps keep home streak alive with win over Detroit