All eyes were on one specific player when it came to the pregame warmup session ahead of the third game of the Stanley Cup final between the Washington Capitals and the Vegas Golden Knights. After missing a good part of the second contest of the series with an undetermined injury, Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov jumped on the ice for the morning skate, and also took part in the pregame warmup with his teammates, showing great signs that he is expected tonight.
However, now it seems that the Capitals have to worry about another player. During the pregame warmup, Washington's Michal Kempny seemed to lose his edge on his skates and went down hard into the boards behind his goaltender's net. He was slow to get up and did not take part in the line rushes, he just left the ice and headed straight to the dressing room.
During the hard fall, Kempny's helmet came off and he appeared to be shaken up after the sequence. It is believed that the defenseman stepped on a puck and was cut by his visor on the play. There was reportedly blood on the ice following his fall, according to what TSN's Ray Ferraro saw happening.
In a move that went mostly unnoticed a few days before the deadline, the Capitals acquired Kempny from the Chicago Blackhawks in return for a third-round draft pick. The Caps have surely benefited from having Kempny in the lineup. In 21 playoff games, the blue liner has recorded a goal and four points, and has registered 35 shots on goal during the postseason.
If Kempny is unable to play following the tumble in the pregame warmup, Jakub Jerabek is expected to take his spot in the lineup tonight.
UPDATE: The Capitals can surely thank their lucky star. After leaving straight to the dressing room, following an awkward fall in the boards, defenseman Michal Kempny was back on the ice for the end of the warmup session. He might have needed to head to the dressing room for a few repairs.
Kempny was able to take at least one shot before the warmups came to an end. He is expected to be in the lineup tonight.
As for Kuznetsov, the star forward will be back in the lineup for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.