Defenseman Matt Niskanen is day-to-day with an upper body injury, the Capitals announced on Thursday afternoon.

Niskanen will not travel to Buffalo for Friday’s game against the Sabres, the team added. It will mark the first game he's missed as a member of the Capitals, ending his streak at 189 consecutive games played, dating back to 2014. 

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Niskanen was injured in the first period of Wednesday’s 4-3 overtime over the Bruins when he was checked headfirst into the boards from behind by Patrice Bergeron. The Bruins center was assessed two minutes for boarding.

The Caps originally expected Niskanen to return, but he was eventually ruled out for the remainder of the game.

“He took a big hit,” Coach Barry Trotz said afterward. “He’s an important piece for us.”

It’s unclear how long Niskanen will be sidelined, though any amount of time he's out represents a blow to the Caps. The 30-year-old averages the second most ice time on the team and skates on both the penalty kill and power play.

After Wednesday’s game, Trotz said it was possible the team would recall a player from Hershey for the trip to Buffalo—just in case. No moves, however, had been announced as of early afternoon.

 

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