WASHINGTON (AP) -Michael Nylander will undergo surgery to repair a torn left rotator cuff Wednesday and will be sidelined for three to six months, robbing the Washington Capitals of their second-leading scorer for the rest of the season.
``I just give him full marks for having the courage to play the last three weeks until he couldn't play anymore,'' Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said before the Capitals hosted Ottawa on Tuesday. ``It's best to get (surgery) done now. We just have to band together.''
Nylander, a center who signed a four-year, $19.5 million contract with Washington as a free agent in July, had 11 goals and team-high 26 assists in 40 games. His 37 points were second only to Alex Ovechkin, who has 33 goals and 21 assists.
Boudreau said Nylander has been coping with a sore shoulder since early December, when he missed four consecutive games with an undisclosed injury. Nylander, 35, continued playing in his 13th NHL season despite being in considerable pain.
``It's tough when you can't lift your arm over your head or lift your arm sideways,'' said Boudreau, adding that the lack of range of motion contributed to Nylander's team-worse minus-19 rating.
Nylander has 200 goals and 446 in 848 career games with Hartford, Calgary, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Boston, the New York Rangers and Washington.
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