Bad news on the blue line: Leafs’ Zaitsev remains out for Game 2

Leafs' Zaitsev remains out for Game 2

WASHINGTON — Maple Leafs defenceman Nikita Zaitsev will remain out for Game 2 against the Washington Capitals.

Zaitsev missed Game 1 on Thursday night with a suspected concussion. The 25-year-old was replaced in the lineup by Martin Marincin as head coach Mike Babcock shuffled around all three of his defensive pairings in the 3-2 overtime loss.

“He didn’t go on the ice today,” Babcock said at Friday’s optional practice. “I was lobbying the best I could today, but they don’t much care what I say.”

Roman Polak took Zaitsev’s spot on the top pair alongside Jake Gardiner while Morgan Rielly reconnected with Matt Hunwick. Marincin, meanwhile, played with Connor Carrick on the team’s third pairing.

Babcock planned to keep that grouping intact for Saturday’s Game 2 with the Leafs looking to even the series up at one.

Zaitsev hasn’t played since Sunday’s regular season finale when he was hammered into the boards by Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno. He sat out practice all week, but has been around the team — even watching Game 1 from the press-box.

A rookie at 25 this season, Zaitsev led the Leafs in minutes during the regular season and finished second among the team’s defenders with 36 points.

Hunwick and Polak both took on big minutes in Game 1 with Zaitsev out.

Jonas Siegel, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Victoria’s Clean Team collects 600 used needles in a week

Number of used needles found downtown steadily increasing over 12 years

Gay tenant outed at work by landlord

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal orders $5,000

Sooke woman seeks changes in assisted dying law

Family’s ordeal has spurred a petition to Parliament

Supportive cancer care centre highlights Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Almost 30,000 people in B.C. will get diagnosed with cancer this year

Uruguay leads the world in pot legalization with Canada second

The small Latin American started to legalize pot in early 2010

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

First Nation female hockey player a force on the ice

Bree-Anna Henderson continues to lead as one of the top scorers in her last year of hockey.

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Record-breaking $113 million Lotto Max jackpot up for grabs

This is Canada’s highest top prize offering ever and includes 53 Max Millions

Tent city leader has no intention of paying Oak Bay bill

Namegans Nation remains in Oak Bay despite notice to cease encampment

Shots fired at Vancouver Island house during fight

Shots were fired at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in 500 block of Kennedy Street, say Nanaimo RCMP

Nanaimo RCMP warn public after nine-year-old girl approached by motorist

Incident happened Wednesday morning near Park Avenue School

Most Read