CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley reports that Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom took a quick five-minute skate today. No word yet on how he felt on the ice.
Backstrom has been out with a concussion since getting elbowed in the head by Rene Bourque on Jan. 3.
Gormley speculates that Backstrom could be back a few games after the All-Star break, but nobody can say for sure. Washington is 4-4-1 since losing its leading scorer and hasn’t scored more than four goals in a game once.
The Caps sit eighth in the Eastern Conference, just two points ahead of ninth-place Toronto. Tuesday they host Boston at the Verizon Center, where they could also be without Alex Ovechkin, pending a disciplinarian hearing with the NHL.
Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.
Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.
Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.
With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.
Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.