Andre Burakovsky placed on injured reserve; Chandler Stephenson recalled
The Washington Capitals placed forward Andre Burakovsky on injured reserve Tuesday with an upper body injury.
In a corresponding move, Washington recalled prospect Chandler Stephenson from Hershey, the team’s American Hockey League affiliate.
Burakovsky was hurt near the end of the Capitals’ 4-1 loss Saturday against the Florida Panthers. After Florida was given a penalty for a hooking Burakovsky, the 23-year-old forward took off his glove and started flexing his hand, in apparent pain.
Because he was placed on injured reserve, Burakovsky must miss at least seven days, but the transaction can be retroactive to the forward’s injury on Saturday. That means Burakovsky would miss at least the next two games.
The Capitals have a three-game trip in Western Canada, starting Thursday with the Vancouver Canucks.
The injury is the latest blow to Burakovsky, who’s had a slow start to the season. After the departure of Marcus Johansson and Justin Williams, Burakovsky was promoted to a top-six role and began the season on a line with Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie.
But Burakovsky, who signed a one-year, $3 million contract in the offseason, admitted last week he was thinking too much about his lack of production.
Capitals coach Barry Trotz moved Burakovsky to the team’s third line with Lars Eller and Alex Chiasson. The move provided a spark, and Burakovsky scored his first goal of the season Friday at Detroit.
Last year, Burakovsky missed 15 games with a right hand injury. Through nine games, the forward has four points (one goal, three assists).
The Capitals are already without defenseman Matt Niskanen, who is on long-term injured reserve with an upper body, and fourth-line forward Tyler Graovac (upper body).
Chandler, who appeared in four games last season, was promoted to help maintain the Capitals’ depth.
Without Burakovsky, Trotz adjusted his lines in practice, with forward Jakub Vrana shifting to the Capitals’ third line, while Chiasson moved up to Vrana’s spot on the team’s line with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov.