Matt Niskanen Departs Game Against Carolina Hurricanes Following Face-first Crash Into the End Boards

While the Capitals’ 3-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes following the Christmas break was cause for celebration, there came cause for concern in the third period of the game when Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen left the game following a scary crash into the end boards.

With 8:26 left in the final frame of play, Niskanen was pushed from behind into the end boards behind Braden Holtby by Carolina’s Clark Bishop. crashing face-first into the boards. Niskanen immediately fell to the ice, writhing in clear pain. He lay on the ice for some time before being helped off the ice by Capitals Head Athletic Trainer Jason Serbus. He did not return to the game, and per The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan, Head Coach Todd Reirden did not have an update on the veteran blueliner following the game. The play can be seen below:

Niskanen played a total of 16:54 minutes in the Caps’ eventual 3-1 victory. Through 36 games played this season, Niskanen has five goals and 10 assists for 15 points, and has once again been one of the team’s better two-way rearguards. Already without defensemen Brooks Orpik (who is making progress in his recovery from knee surgery) and Christian Djoos, the loss of Niskanen for any period of time would leave a gaping hole on the blueline. Per Khurshudyan, Reirden was given a game misconduct at the end of the game, possibly as a result of his voicing his displeasure about Bishop’s hit on Niskanen.

Teammate T.J. Oshie, who scored in the team’s win, was reportedly so concerned about Niskanen that he considered leaving the bench to check on him (an act that would result in a suspension, per Khurshudyan). It is unknown at this stage whether Niskanen will be able to travel with the team for their Saturday night tilt with the Ottawa Senators.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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9 Responses to Matt Niskanen Departs Game Against Carolina Hurricanes Following Face-first Crash Into the End Boards

  1. Alpca3877 says:

    The refereeing was suspect at best last night. The no-call on that play was the most egregious, but I’m equally pissed about Reirden’s game misconduct.

    Like

  2. DayOne Caps Fanatic says:

    20 game suspension for Tom Wilson … and not much since for anybody
    Buttman is a crook. VGK paid up $650 millions for franchise. Wonder how much Seattle will pony-up to molest the rosters of all the other teams

    Like

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