The 22-year-old Orlov was one of Hershey’s lone bright spots so far this season, leading the team with eight points (two goals, six assists) in five games prior to the recall.
It’s the second time Orlov has been recalled this week, having only been returned to Hershey yesterday after a recall on Oct. 30.
Orlov was a regular on Washington’s blue line in the 2011-12 season, posting three goals and 16 assists in 60 games. He also provided an additional physical presence for Washington, posting 99 hits in that time.
However, with last season’s lockout, Orlov spent most of the season in Hershey, though an upper body injury limited him to 36 games between Hershey and Washington.
The Capitals are likely hoping the five-foot-11, 211-pound Russian rearguard will provide a spark to their offensively-challenged back end. Washington defencemen have combined to score just two goals so far this season, with none coming from former 30-goal scorer Mike Green.
Orlov should also help reinforce Washington’s special teams efforts, not that they need much. The Capitals have the NHL’s fourth-best powerplay at 23.6 per cent, and the second-best penalty kill at 90.7 per cent.
Orlov was a second-round pick of the Capitals in 2009, drafted 55th overall.
Orlov is in the final season of his entry-level contract, which pays him $690,000. Prior to his injury troubles, he was well on his way to earning a permanent spot in Washington’s lineup. If he can regain that form while remaining healthy, Orlov can expect a big raise this offseason.