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Caps prospect Dmitry Orlov suffers upper-body injury

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Dmitry Orlov suffered an upper-body injury in the Hershey Bears’ victory over the Norfolk Admirals on Thursday night at Verizon Center, but coach Mark French didn’t sound concerned.

“I don’t think it’s anything serious. But he obviously wasn’t able to return to the game,” French said following the 2-1 victory in the AHL Showcase. “We’ll probably know better once I’m briefed [by medical personnel].”

Orlov, who will be a part of the Washington Capitals’ blue line once the NHL lockout ends, has had something of an “up and down” season back in the American Hockey League, French said earlier Thursday. At 21 years old, he’s the franchise’s top defensive prospect.

He left Thursday night’s game, his first in the District since the final regular-season game of the Caps’ 2011-12 regular season, and was considered day-to-day with the upper-body injury.

“He’s a great defenseman. Anytime you lose a defenseman in the middle of a game, it’s detrimental,” fellow Caps defensive prospect Cameron Schilling said. “It definitely hurts; he’s a great offensive player. He’s very effective on the power play and everything. It definitely hurts when he’s not there.”

Given the latest twist in the soap opera that the NHL collective bargaining negotiation has become, it’s not likely that Orlov’s injury will have any effect on the Caps, as long as it’s not a long-term issue.

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