Montreal Canadiens coach Claude Julien says forwards Jonathan Drouin and Paul Byron are scheduled to undergo surgery and will be out indefinitely.
Drouin suffered a wrist injury and Byron hurt his knee in the Canadiens’ 5-2 win at Washington on Friday.
Drouin was levelled by a thunderous check by Capitals star Alex Ovechkin in the second period, though the Canadiens say his injury came from an unrelated play in the third period.
“Obviously, he’s one of our best players,” Canadiens forward Max Domi said. “To be missing him now, it’s a tough pill to swallow. Other guys are going to have to step up. ... We all know we have the character in here for guys to step up.
“When someone goes down, it gives the opportunity for someone else. When you have the depth we have, it’s a good opportunity for guys to prove some stuff here.”
Julien said the team hopes to have more specific timelines within a few days.
He acknowledged it’s a tough blow for Drouin, who was off to a strong start with seven goals and eight assists in 19 games.
“We’re in a sport where injuries unfortunately happen,” Julien said. “We’re just going to hope it’s shorter than longer, and we’re going to hope he comes back the way he left us.”
Byron limped to the locker room late in the game at Washington. He has one goal and three assists.
The Canadiens recalled forward Charles Hudon from AHL Laval to help bolster the ranks.
“Injuries are going to happen along the way,” Canadiens defenceman Jeff Petry said. “It’s our responsibility in here for each guy to step up a little bit and pick up a little bit more to take care of that.”
Montreal, riding a six-game point streak, is in Columbus on Tuesday to face the Blue Jackets before returning home to meet the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.