CAPITALS INJURY REPORT: Spencer Carbery calls Alexis Lafrenière hit that injured….

Spencer Carbery calls Alexis Lafrenière hit that injured Vincent Iorio ‘borderline’.

The Washington Capitals finished Game One against the New York Rangers with only 17 skaters after losing defenseman Vincent Iorio in the second period due to injury.

Iorio absorbed a big shoulder-to-shoulder hit from Alexis Lafrenière and slammed hard into the side boards. The Capitals provided a brief mid-game update on Iorio, revealing that he suffered an upper-body injury and was questionable to return.

Iorio ultimately did not rejoin his teammates on the bench and after the Caps’ 4-1 loss, head coach Spencer Carbery was asked for a status update on the top prospect defender.

“Yeah, I’m not sure,” Carbery said. “I’ll have to figure that out tomorrow, but he didn’t come back in the game.”

As for the hit that led to an Artemi Panarin goal, Carbery was hesitant to criticize the officials for not calling a minor penalty on Lafrenière or blowing the play dead. He also believed the 21-year-old rearguard would learn something from the play.

“It was close,” Carbery said. “It was borderline, right? Young player, (I) feel bad for him because he puts himself in a tough spot. Probably needs to move the puck quicker there and just get it out of his hands. And then he hangs onto it or bobbles it. So — I just saw it in my feed. That’s the only look, so I’ll have to look at it again.”

Iorio and Hershey Bears captain Dylan McIlrath both suited up in Game One with several of the Capitals’ regular blueliners out of the lineup. Rasmus Sandin and Nick Jensen remained out with upper-body injuries, although they skated with the team on Saturday for the first time since getting hurt. Both players were game-time decisions but ultimately did not take the ice for warmups. Defenseman Ethan Bear is also away from the team receiving care from the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program.

“Yeah, we’ll see,” Carbery said. “We’ll skate tomorrow and find out. We’ll know more tomorrow, but I’m assuming they’ll skate.”

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