Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom skated in full gear prior and joined the team’s morning skate at MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Saturday for the first time since undergoing a hip resurfacing procedure on June 18.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) November 19, 2022
The 34-year-old aggravated his hip, which he had surgery on during the 2015 offseason, late in the 2020-21 season and missed the first eight weeks of last season. Washington scratched Backstrom a couple of times down the stretch last season on the second half of back-to-backs because GM Brian MacLellan said it was a struggle for Backstrom to suit up every night at his end of season media availability.
Backstrom finished last season with six goals and 31 points in 47 games after leading Washington with 38 assists and 53 points in 55 games during the COVID-19-shortened 2020-21 campaign.
Right-wing T.J. Oshie was also on the ice prior to Saturday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market). He has missed the past 10 games with a lower-body injury sustained in a 3-0 win over the Nashville Predators on October 29. Oshie is out indefinitely.
Both Oshie and Backstrom wore no-contact jerseys.
Oh, hey, Nicklas Backstrom (and T.J. Oshie) pic.twitter.com/0jq6gxqNOU
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) November 19, 2022
Defenseman Dmitry Orlov also skated but in a regular practice jersey. He has not played since a 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on November 5 due to a lower-body injury, missing the past six games. The 30-year-old is labeled as day-to-day but did not participate in line rushes.
Washington is also without right-wing Connor Brown (expected to miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on November 1 to repair a torn ACL sustained in a 6-4 win over the Vancouver Canucks on October 17); left-wing Carl Hagelin (hip surgery on October 11, out indefinitely); right-wing Tom Wilson (surgery to repair torn ACL on May 25, not expected to return until December or January, has skated on his own); and left-wing Beck Malenstyn (out 4-6 more weeks after undergoing surgery to repair finger injury on November 4, which he sustained in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights three days earlier). The team leads the NHL with 90 man-games lost due to injury this season, at least 21 more than any other team.
Washington, who enters Saturday tied for fifth in the Metropolitan Division with a 7-9-3 record and has lost eight of their past 11 games (3-5-3), has three days off after their game against Colorado with their next contest not scheduled until Wednesday vs. the Philadelphia Flyers.
By Harrison Brown