Center Nicklas Backstrom took another step forward in his recovery from a hip injury that has kept him out for the Washington Capitals’ first 28 games of the season, as he joined line rushes once again in between left-wing Conor Sheary and right-wing T.J. Oshie during the team’s practice Tuesday.
Head coach Peter Laviolette told the media that the 34-year-old will travel with the Capitals and participate in Wednesday’s morning skate before deciding whether he will make his 2021-22 season debut against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center (8 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market).
Nicklas Backstrom left the ice at the end of the Capitals’ practice like a normal player and is not staying on for extra work.
Seems like a player getting ready to play tomorrow.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) December 14, 2021
Backstrom also skated with the team’s first power-play unit, another indication that he could very well return in Chicago.
Right-wing Tom Wilson did not participate in Tuesday’s practice and remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury. The 27-year-old skated on his own prior to practice but is still being evaluated and it has yet to be determined whether he will travel on the team’s two-game road-trip.
Right-wing Garnet Hathaway (COVID-19 protocol) also did not practice and will not travel on the Capitals’ trip.
Defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk and center Nic Dowd participated in line rushes in their usual spots, hinting that they could return to the lineup against the Blackhawks after each missed four games due to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. However, neither will be allowed to play against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday due to Canada’s COVID-19 travel regulations.
Capitals lines at Tuesday practice:
*No Wilson (upper-body) or Hathaway (Covid protocols)
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) December 14, 2021
- Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin will be GM and New York Rangers GM Chris Drury will be his assistant for Team USA at 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing
- Colorado Avalanche D Devon Toews, Boston Bruins LW Brad Marchand and RW Craig Smith, Florida Panthers LW Ryan Lomberg, Vancouver Canucks D Luke Schenn and C Juho Lammikko, and New York Islanders C Mathew Barzal in addition to Calgary Flames D Noah Hanifin, LW Milan Lucic, and C Sean Monahan were all placed in COVID-19 protocol
CAPS TODAY: Martin Fehervary’s three goals this season are tied for the second-most among rookie defensemen. More info on Fehervary and #Caps Clips at https://t.co/HecIC0ECg1 pic.twitter.com/KTUQFBgSk8
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) December 14, 2021
By Harrison Brown