- The Washington Times - Friday, April 22, 2016

By Zac Boyer

Defenseman Brooks Orpik will not play in Game 5 of the Washington Capitals‘ game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday as he continues to recover from an unspecified injury sustained in Game 3 of the teams’ first-round series on Monday.

Orpik did not attend the team’s morning skate, and Trotz ruled Orpik out of the game afterward. Asked if Orpik is recovering from a concussion, Trotz said he would not answer that question, and he said he does not have any long-term concern about Orpik’s availability for subsequent playoff games.

“He actually exercised today, so that was good,” Trotz said.

Orpik was hit into the half boards by Flyers right wing Ryan White at 11:56 of the second period on Monday. He immediately fell to his hands and knees, where he remained for seconds after the hit.

Once Orpik was helped up to his feet by teammate John Carlson and athletic trainer Greg Smith, his head nodded downward, as if he was falling asleep.

Orpik missed eight games during the 2013-14 season after sustaining a concussion. While playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins in a game on Dec. 7, 2013, Orpik was slew-footed by the Boston Bruins’ Shawn Thornton and took a hard fall.

He said before his return on Dec. 27 that he did not remember anything about the game that night and that he had bad headaches for two or three days afterward.

The NHL does not have a specific league-wide protocol in place for how players’ recoveries from a concussion are handled and instead leave it up to individual teams.

Capitals right wing Tom Wilson, who took a hard hit from Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning with two minutes remaining in the third period on Wednesday, stopped briefly at the bench before being advised to get checked out by medical personnel. He did not return to the game, but was fine.

“Nowadays, you’ve got to be extra careful, so [Smith] just said, ‘Go back and get checked out,’” Wilson said on Thursday. “But, I feel good, so I should be good to go.”

Taylor Chorney replaced Orpik in the lineup for Game 4 and will do so again on Friday.

“It felt good,” said Chorney, who played in 55 games for the Capitals this season. “No matter what, there’s always going to be some things that you wish you would have done different, and maybe there are some things that you’re happy with, but overall, I’m happy with the way my conditioning felt. Even just my timing and stuff, it felt good to get back out there.”


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