- The Washington Times - Monday, April 16, 2018

Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky will miss at least the next two games against the Columbus Blue Jackets with an upper-body injury.

Burakovsky left Game 2’s 5-4 overtime loss early in the first period, following a collision into the boards. Columbus center Boone Jenner delivered a hard check, causing Burakovsky to leave.

The 23-year-old winger played just five shifts Sunday for a total of 2:12.

Burakovsky will not travel with the team to Columbus.

“He’s going to miss some time here,” coach Barry Trotz said.

This is a costly injury for the Capitals — and for Burakovsky. Burakovsky overcame a shaky stretch of poor play to become a top six forward. He played well in Game 1, aside from a costly penalty late in the third period that allowed the Blue Jackets to tie the game on the power play.

Earlier in the season, Burakovsky missed 20 games with a fractured thumb. After returning from injury in December, he struggled to return to form. Trotz made him a healthy scratch at various points, wanting to send a message.

But Burakovsky answered the challenge, finishing the year on a high note. Over the final 13 games of the regular season, he recorded five goals and three assists.

Trotz said he’ll replace Burakovsky with forward Jakub Vrana, who was a healthy scratch in Game 2. Vrana saw just 6:58 in ice time of Game 1.

“Jake, it was his first playoff game and there was a lot of jitters in his game,” Trotz said. “I know you have to go through that your first game, in terms of the game’s a little bit overwhelming. As a staff, we looked at that. But Jake is going to be fine.

“He’s going to fill that role exactly what Burky has done. For me, he’s going to play.”

Game 3 is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in Columbus.

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