When the puck dropped at Air Canada Centre at the beginning of the Capitals’ contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs, defenseman John Carlson was not on the Washington bench. Shortly afterwards, it was announced that the veteran blueliner was sidelined with an lower-body injury. According to the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan, Carlson skated this morning in the Caps’ morning skate and took the ice for warmups, but was a late scratch by the coaching staff.
John Carlson is day-to-day with a lower body injury. Was a late scratch. Skated this morning and in warmups.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) April 4, 2017
With Carlson sidelined, Nate Schmidt has replaced him. Schmidt last played in the Capitals’ game against the Minnesota Wild (a game in which he scored a goal), and has seen hardly any action since the Capitals acquired fellow blueliner Kevin Shattenkirk before the trade deadline.
Schmidt would make good use of his unexpected start, and notched a tally in the 3rd period of the game.
Schmidt has three goals and 13 assists in 57 games played this season, and is averaging 15:26 minutes of ice time a night for Head Coach Barry Trotz.