Tuesday evening, Caps center Nicklas Backstrom didn’t play against the the Philadelphia Flyers due to an illness.
Backstrom practiced Wednesday and Thursday, the Swedish center suited up for the team’s morning skate in Boston. Backstrom will be back in the lineup for tonight’s bout against the Bruins, centering the second line.
The big news, however, is that Andre Burakovsky will return to the press box.
— JJ Regan (@JJReganNBCS) January 10, 2019
Burakovsky, a restricted free agent this summer, has struggled to find consistency after suffering injuries to both of his arms over the last two seasons. In December, Capitals head coach Todd Reirden removed Burakovsky from the lineup, scratching him for four consecutive games. The move made Burakovsky the subject of national trade rumors. The Capitals reportedly received interest from the Vancouver Canucks for his services.
After not playing in a game for 13 days, Burakovsky went back into the lineup December 21 against the Buffalo Sabres, slotting onto the team’s third line. The Swedish forward has played nine-straight games since his return to the lineup but has only produced one assist.
Reirden clarified that Burakovsky was removed from the lineup because other players had taken advantage of their opportunities in the lineup and he hadn’t.
“It’s a competitive situation and I thought some other guys deserved to be in a little bit more right now,” Reirden said. “[Andre’s] got to continue to grow his game and get better and be a difference maker. He’s been able to generate some chances over the last nine games. I’d just like to have a little bit more production on the scoresheet. We’ll continue to work with him and a game or so, we’ll get him going again when we put him back in.
“He has the talent and the ability to be a difference maker,” Reirden reiterated.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 10, 2019
Burakovsky has only five goals and four assists in 38 games played so far this season.
Meanwhile, Jonas Siegenthaler will play on the third defensive pair, and Travis Boyd and Nic Dowd were inserted into the lineup. Dmirtij Jaskin and and Madison Bowey will be the other odd men out.
Burakovsky, Bowey and Jaskin are the healthy scratches.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) January 10, 2019
The last time the Caps played the Bruins was an opening night romp when the Stanley Cup banner was raised to the rafters.
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