Nicklas Backstrom Takes Line Rushes, Tom Wilson Misses Practice: News From Capitals’ Monday Practice

The Washington Capitals returned home following their 3-2 shootout victory over the Sabres in Buffalo on Saturday night. They are currently in the midst of playing three consecutive road games, which will continue in Chicago against the Blackhawks on Wednesday and in Winnipeg against the Jets on Friday.

The team had the day off on Sunday but returned to work Monday morning to begin preparations for the Blackhawks. Tom Wilson did not participate in Monday’s practice. He has been sidelined with an upper body injury that he suffered against the Penguins on Friday.

Nicklas Backstrom took line rushes for the first time with the team on Monday, further signaling his return to games is drawing near.

Backstrom playing Wednesday against the Blackhawks is a possibility, and was not ruled out by Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette.

Nic Dowd and Trevor van Riemsdyk returned to skating with the team today, while Garnet Hathaway remains in COVID-19 protocol.

Alex Ovechkin, who currently ranks third in the NHL with 44 points (20g, 24a) and second with 20 goals, is on pace for 128 points and 58 goals this season. No player in NHL history has ever reached either mark at the age of 36 or older.

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Ovechkin has been selected to franchise-best 11 All-Star Games in his career, and his seven goals and eight assists each are the most in franchise history. Kuznetsov – who made his lone All-Star Game appearance in 2015-16 – has recorded 30 points (9g, 21a) in 28 games this season, and is on pace for a career high 87-point season. Carlson is tied for fifth among defensemen with 24 points (6g, 18a) and has represented the Capitals in each of the last two All-Star Games, wining the Hardest Shot Competition during the 2019 NHL All Star Weekend in San Jose. Wilson is on the ballot for the first time in his career is currently on pace to shatter his career highs in goals, assists and points.

The 2022 NHL All-Star Fan Vote is now open at and via the NHL app, allowing fans the opportunity to determine the four captains for the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend. Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson are all on the ballot to captain the Metropolitan Division Team at the 2022 NHL All Star Game in Las Vegas on Feb. 5.

The 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend will once again consist of a three-game tournament, played in a 3-on-3 format, featuring four teams – one for each NHL division. Fans can cast votes online for one player from each division, without regard to position. Voting concludes at 11:59 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 8, with the top vote-getters by division – regardless of position – named All-Stars and captains.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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2 Responses to Nicklas Backstrom Takes Line Rushes, Tom Wilson Misses Practice: News From Capitals’ Monday Practice

  1. Babz Kramer says:

    Why vote ovi to the all star game? He’ll sit out and just get suspended 1 game.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I personally agree, but for different reasons. He will get voted in/selected no matter what, so why not cast votes for other Capitals players? Also, I think Ovi will attend this years All-Star game because players are departing for China/Olympics directly from Vegas after All-Star game/weekend.

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