Photo: Chicago Tribune
Washington Capitals head coach Todd Reirden told reporters that defenseman Michal Kempny will be out long-term with a lower-body injury after the team’s optional practice on Monday. Kempny left the second period of the Capitals’ 5-4 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday after being on the receiving end of a hit delivered by Lightning forward Cedric Paquette in a scrum.
Caps coach Todd Reirden says it’s a “long-term injury” to defenseman Michal Kempny. Isn’t ready to say for certain Kempny is done for playoffs, but it sure sounds like it.
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) March 25, 2019
Reirden stated that the team is still waiting to get medical test results back to see how long Kempny will be out for and whether or not his injury will require surgery. The Capitals will make an official announcement on his timeline when they know those details.
He will likely miss the Capitals’ final six games of the regular season in addition to some time in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Without Kempny, defenseman Christian Djoos has skated in his spot next to John Carlson on the defensive top-pairing the past two games. Defenseman Nick Jensen, who was acquired in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings last month, has also seen some time next to Carlson recently.
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. Losing him is a huge blow for the Capitals.
The Capitals sent defenseman Tyler Lewington to the AHL’s Hershey Bears on Monday morning but could make another move, which will most likely calling up defenseman Jonas Seigenthaler.
Kempny missed two preseason games and the first two games of the regular season with a concussion suffered from a hit by St. Louis Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo on September 25.
He posted two goals, five points, and a +1 rating while playing all 24 games in the Capitals’ run to the Stanley Cup last season.
The Capitals are next in action on Tuesday night, when they host the Carolina Hurricanes at 7 PM ET (can be seen on NBC Sports Washington locally or NBCSN nationally).
By Harrison Brown