Forward Andre Burakovsky had surgery to repair a fractured left thumb on Tuesday and is expected to be out 6-8 weeks.
Burakovsky, 22, has four points (one goal, three assists) in nine games this season. He had 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) in 64 games last season, and has 99 points (39 goals, 60 assists) in 205 games since entering the NHL in 2014. Burakovsky was Washington's first-round pick (No. 23) in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Burakovsky, who was injured against the Florida Panthers on Saturday, was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. He missed 15 games last season with a fractured right hand.
The Capitals recalled forward Chandler Stephenson from Hershey of the American Hockey League.
Stephenson, Washington's third-round choice (No. 77) in the 2012 NHL Draft, has no points in 13 games with the Capitals, four last season and nine in 2015-16. He leads Hershey with five goals in six games this season.