Nicklas Backstrom made another huge step towards returning to the lineup for the first time this season.
During Monday’s practice, the Capitals’ legendary center was assigned to a line and took rushes with the team. Backstrom centered Conor Sheary and TJ Oshie.
*Typically* that indicates a player will be playing in that spot during the Capitals’ next game. The Caps play the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.
The Capitals’ lined up like this at practice via the Washington Post’s Samantha Pell.
While Tom Wilson remained out injured, the Capitals saw Nic Dowd and Trevor van Riemsdyk return to the rink on Monday. Both are technically still in COVID protocol according to The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir, while Garnet Hathaway remains out.
As for Backstrom, ESPN’s Emily Kaplan reported on Friday that the pivot was expected to play in at least one game before the NHL’s holiday break on December 24.
Backstrom has been on long-term injured reserve for the entire season rehabbing a hip injury. He was cleared for contact during practices on December 3. Behind the scenes, he has been working with skating coach, Wendy Marco of Cold Rush Hockey.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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