The NHL Department of Player Safety announced on Wednesday that Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov has been suspended for two games after the 30-year-old kneed left-wing Nikolaj Ehlers in the team’s 4-3 overtime win over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
After Ehlers passed the puck in the left corner of the offensive zone, Orlov extended his knee into Ehlers’ with seven minutes left in the third period. No penalty was assessed on the play.
Jets head coach Dave Lowry said after the game that Ehlers will likely miss more than one game.
Orlov has been suspended once previously in his 605-game NHL career, which was a two-game ban for boarding on March 2, 2014. Under the CBA, he is not a repeat offender as his last suspension was nearly eight years ago.
Defenseman John Carlson will also be out for the Capitals’ next game against the Boston Bruins on Thursday (7 PM ET, ESPN+/Hulu) as he has to spend at least five days in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol (he entered on Sunday). The two average the most ice-time among Capitals blueliners (Carlson: 23:43, Orlov: 21:01). Orlov also averages 1:04 on the power play (behind Carlson, 3:56, and Justin Schultz, 1:09) and 43 seconds on the penalty kill (fifth among Capitals defensemen).
Orlov missed two games last week due to COVID-19 protocol.
Orlov, who has earned five goals, 19 points, and a +17 rating (only behind defenseman Nick Jensen, +20), will be eligible to return against the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday.
By Harrison Brown