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Caps’ Hillen undergoes surgery, expected out 4-6 months

Oct 5, 2013, 9:20 PM EDT

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Washington Capitals defenseman Jack Hillen underwent surgery on a fractured right leg (right tibial plateau) on Saturday, with the expectation that he’ll be out about four-to-six months, CSNWashington.com reports.

Hillen, 27, was hurt thanks to a check by Lance Bouma of the Calgary Flames on Thursday:

The blueliner missed about half of 2012-13 with an upper-body injury, so he’s having some hard luck lately.

Head coach Adam Oates is being forced to do something he doesn’t like: pair two right-handed defensemen (Connor Carrick and Steve Oleksy) together.

It’s well-documented that Oates strongly prefers right-handed shooters to play on the right side and left-handed players on their left. He explained why he feels that way and why this situation leaves him that much more unsettled.

“The game is so fast you get into situations where you’re stuck,” Oates said. “Your back is to the play, you have blind spots and you don’t know where your outs are and you end up making tough passes because you think a guy’s open and he closes on you fast.”

Maybe he’ll warm up to being a little looser with that restriction after this forced experiment? (Probably not.)

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