Tom Wilson will be game-time decision for Game 2, John Carlson ‘fine’

Tom Wilson will be game-time decision for Game 2 on Thursday originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

SUNRISE, Fla. — Capitals forward Tom Wilson (lower-body injury) will be a game-time decision for Game 2 on Thursday night, coach Peter Laviolette confirmed at his Wednesday afternoon media availability. 

Wilson was receiving treatment during the team’s optional skate.

He took just three shifts in the Capitals’ 4-2 win in Game 1 on Tuesday in Florida, but made an immediate impact as two of those shifts ended in a penalty drawn and a goal scored. 

He made two returns to the bench after his injury and took a brief practice skate on the ice on one of those returns, apparently testing out whatever was ailing him. But after a few moments on the ice, he went straight down the Capitals’ tunnel and to the dressing room for the remainder of the night.

“You can’t replace Tom,” T.J. Oshie said after Game 1. “Especially in playoffs, he is one of our most important players because of his ability to play physical, his ability to score big goals like he did (Tuesday). His ability to penalty kill, power play, he is just a guy you cannot replace. Not only that, but his presence in the room is very influential to our team.”

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When asked if he was relieved that Wilson’s injury didn’t appear to be a long-term absence, Laviolette replied, “We certainly hope not.”

The Capitals’ upset win in Game 1 was impressive on its own, but considering they were without Wilson for all but three shifts of the night, the victory to put them up in the series looked even better than it did at the time.

Should the Capitals be without Wilson for any period of time, Connor McMichael or Axel Jonsson-Fjallby are the two options to replace him in the lineup. The team currently has 14 forwards on the roster, including Wilson.

“We are hoping for the best,” Oshie said. “I think everyone knows he is a pretty tough guy so hopefully he will be out there with us in a couple nights and if not, it is next man up like it always is.”

Laviolette also confirmed that defenseman John Carlson is “fine” after taking a big, late hit in the final seconds from Panthers forward Sam Bennett.

All first-round games of Capitals vs. Panthers will be available regionally on NBC Sports Washington and streamed live on the MyTeams app.

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