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Capitals' Nic Dowd, a top trade candidate, is day to day with an upper-body injury

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Washington Capitals center Nic Dowd, one of the top candidates to change places ahead of the NHL trade deadline, is day to day with an upper-body injury.

Dowd left the Capitals' 6-2 win against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night after the first period. He's the second player in recent weeks to go down with an injury after being part of trade talks, following Pittsburgh's Jake Guentzel, who's out until early March.

Coach Spencer Carbery said Wednesday that Dowd is not traveling on Washington's road trip with games at Tampa Bay and Florida. The team recalled winger Pierrick Dube from Hershey of the American Hockey League and plans to shift Aliaksei Protas to center in Dowd's absence.

A faceoff specialist and penalty killer with some offensive ability who is signed through next season at the bargain basement salary cap hit of $1.3 million, Dowd could fetch a high price from a contender before the March 8 trade deadline.

The 33-year-old has 16 points on eight goals and eight assists and is a veteran of 506 regular-season and playoff games.

“Dowder’s a huge defensive piece on this team, and they’re hard shoes to fill," said Connor McMichael, who scored twice and assumed some of Dowd's ice time against the Devils. "But I thought our group did a collective job to step in for him, and we’re happy to get the win.”

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press