No determination has been made on the availability of injured defenseman Brooks Orpik for Game 5 of the Washington Capitals’ first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday, coach Barry Trotz said.
Trotz said on Thursday afternoon that he didn’t know whether Orpik would be able to participate in the team’s morning skate.
Orpik sustained an unspecified upper-body injury when he was hit into the half boards by the Flyers’ Ryan White halfway through Game 3 on Monday and had to be helped off the ice. Trotz said on Wednesday, prior to Game 4 of the series, that Orpik was “doing better.”
Trotz said prior to the start of the playoff series that he would be unlikely to divulge information about lineups before games, and the team instituted a policy this season that forbids the specific discussion of injuries by players.
Taylor Chorney, who played in 55 games for the Capitals this season, his first with the team, filed in for Orpik on Wednesday.
He played 12:10 and took 19 shifts, all at even strength, and was assessed the game’s first penalty at 5:03 of the first period when he was called for interference on Flyers center Nick Cousins — and 48 seconds later, Philadelphia scored its first power-play goal of the series.
“He did great,” Trotz said. “I thought he did real good. He made a couple good plays defensively. I thought he was sharp. I liked his play.”
The appearance was Chorney’s sixth in a Stanley Cup playoff game after dressing for five last season while with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He acknowledged being slightly nervous before the game, but said it would have been unsettling if he hadn’t.
“There’s going to be nerves before every playoff game,” Chorney said. “You can just feel it’s a different intensity and that every play is that much more important. It’s a good thing. It’s not the type of nervous where you kind of go into a shell. I mean, as a player, there’s no place you’d rather be than playing in a playoff game.”