Photo: NBC Sports Washington
Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny left during the second period of the team’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night with a lower-body injury after Lightning forward Cedric Paquette took him down along the wall during a scrum in the second period. He did not return to the game.
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 21, 2019
During his postgame press conference, Capitals head coach Todd Reirden told reporters that Kempny “will miss some time.” He will have more information tomorrow, when the Capitals have the day off.
Capitals coach Todd Reirden said Michal Kempny “will miss some time” with injury.
— Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) March 21, 2019
Kempny, 28, recorded two hits, two shots, and a -1 rating in 8:28 worth of ice time against the Lightning.
Kempny leads the Capitals with a +24 rating and has set career-highs with six goals and 25 points while averaging 19:11 worth of ice-time per game and playing alongside defenseman John Carlson on the top defensive-pair. Losing him is a huge blow for the Capitals.
With Kempny likely out for some time, defenseman Nick Jensen will likely step in his place next to Carlson. In 11 games since being acquired from the Detroit Red Wings in a trade that sent a second-round pick and defenseman Madison Bowey to the Red Wings on February 22, the 28-year old has posted one assist and an even-rating while playing on the third-pair with defenseman Brooks Orpik. Jensen averaged 20:48 worth of ice-time, including 2:46 shorthanded (the most on the team) with the Red Wings and led them with 61 hits and 21 takeaways at the time of the trade.
While losing Kempny would be a big blow, the Capitals have someone who can step in seemlessly for him in Jensen. Defenseman Christian Djoos is also waiting to get some playing time as he has just played in two games since the Capitals acquired Jensen. Even though this hurts, the Capitals are in good position to overcome the likely loss of Kempny.
The Capitals play the Minnesota Wild at Capital One Arena on Friday night at 7 PM ET (can be seen on NBC Sports Washington locally or NHL Network for those outside the DMV).
By Harrison Brown