Washington Capitals left wing Randy Burridge will miss the entire season after undergoing reconstructive surgery on his right knee yesterday.
Team doctor Richard Grossman repaired a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in an operation at Sibley Hospital in Washington.
Burridge had injured the right knee Sept. 5. He had been expected to be out of the Capitals' lineup until January because of surgery on his left knee, which was injured in Game 2 of last season's playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Last season, Burridge scored 23 goals and had 44 assists in 66 games for Washington.
"It's a blow," Capitals general manager David Poile said yesterday. "No question it's going to hurt us a lot. But, this is going to be a huge opportunity for one or maybe more players to get a high spot in our lineup. We're going to need somebody to pick up this slack. Yvon Corriveau, Bobby Carpenter [both re-acquired by the Capitals in the off-season], those are the two players I look to right away."
The Capitals begin their exhibition season tonight in Norfolk, Va., against the Buffalo Sabres. That's the first of a five-games-in-five-nights stretch that includes stops in Providence, R.I. (Boston Bruins); Rochester, N.Y. (Sabres); and Ottawa (for two games against the expansion Senators).
"It's not as bad as it sounds," said Poile. "We'll be taking about 40 players, and nobody will play in more than three games."