Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette told the media after the team’s morning skate at Madison Square Garden that center Evgeny Kuznetsov and goaltender Ilya Samsonov will be out against the New York Rangers (7 PM ET, NBCSN nationally, NBC Sports Washington locally) on Wednesday night.
Kuznetsov, 28, landed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on Tuesday for the second time this season. Later in the night, it was reported that the Capitals could look to trade Kuznetsov after this season and that there is growing frustration with him within the organization.
Samsonov, 24, is not on COVID-19 protocol. It was reported that the two were scratched for the team’s 5-3 win over the Rangers on Monday after the two were late to a team function.
Captain Alex Ovechkin, who played just 39 seconds before leaving Monday’s game with a lower-body injury, will not play on Wednesday. He missed the previous four games.
Forward T.J. Oshie, who did not play on Monday, will return to the lineup after returning from Washington state. Oshie announced that his father had passed away on Tuesday.
Laviolette added that he thinks that the Capitals will recall a player from the taxi squad prior to Wednesday’s clash at MSG so they could head into the game with 18 skaters.
Defenseman Justin Schultz, who missed Monday’s game with a lower-body injury, participated in the Capitals’ morning skate and “could be available” for Wednesday’s rematch, according to Laviolette.
Goaltender Vitek Vanecek will start for the fourth time in the past five games.
By Harrison Brown