Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom took an important step in his recovery as he works to return to Washington’s lineup. Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post notes that after taking part in a pair of optional skates earlier this week, Backstrom returned to regular practice on Wednesday. However, his status remains up in the air for Game Four against Tampa Bay on Thursday.
Given that he’s dealing with a hand injury, taking faceoffs would be a challenge for Backstrom. However, head coach Barry Trotz stated that he would still use the center in the lineup even if he isn’t 100% recovered, citing that there are many other areas he could contribute in even if he can’t take the draws. Backstrom is one of three Capitals forwards averaging more than a point-per-game this postseason and he will certainly make a big impact whenever he gets the green light to return.
Other injury news and notes from around the league:
- Golden Knights backup goaltender Malcolm Subban is dealing with an undisclosed injury or illness, head coach Gerard Gallant told reporters, including Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (Twitter link). As a result, Maxime Lagace will serve as the backup to Marc-Andre Fleury in Game Three tonight against Winnipeg. Subban is listed as day-to-day so there is no word yet on whether or not he will be available for Game Four on Friday.
- Still with Vegas, the Golden Knights will once again be without winger William Carrier tonight. NHL.com’s Shawn Rourke notes that he has yet to resume skating since being sidelined late in the second round. With that in mind, it’s certainly fair to wonder if the 23-year-old will be able to get back into the lineup before the series comes to an end. Meanwhile, winger David Perron, who missed Monday’s contest due to an illness, is listed as a game-time decision.