TAMPA, Fla. | Washington Capitals defenseman Jack Hillen left Saturday night’s season opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning after taking a hit into the boards from Vinny Lecavalier.
Hillen’s left shoulder hit into the boards after Lecavalier struck him with what appeared to be a clean check. He was down on the ice and in pain until the whistle blew with 8:17 left in the second period.
Hillen was attended to on the ice but skated off under his own power, favoring his left arm. He went down the tunnel to the team’s locker room.
Hillen did not return. Coach Adam Oates said the defenseman had an upper-body injury but offered no other update.
Hillen, who’s listed at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, was signed to a one-year contract by the Caps in July. He was making his Washington debut.
“It’s a hockey game. You’ve got to just do what you normally do and be ready for it,” Hillen said. “I’m ready to go.’
Adam Oates dressed seven defensemen and 11 forwards, so Hillen’s injury knocked the Caps down to the usual six.
No penalty was called on the play.