On the even of serving his suspension for cross-checking Boston forward Rich Peverley in the face, Washington center Nicklas Backstrom expressed remorse over his costly actions.
“[Peverley] was going after Ovi [Alex Ovechkin] first and then I was just turning around, so that’s all I can say,” Backstrom told reporters Wednesday.
“I’m sorry about that. It was stupid on my part.”
Backstrom received a match penalty for intent to injure and, on Thursday, will serve the mandatory game suspension that goes along with it. He’ll miss Game 4 with his team trailing the Bruins 2-1 in the series.
The loss figures to be a crucial one for the Caps. The 24-year-old Swede is their top center, scored Washington’s only game-winning goal of the series, plays over 23 minutes a night and has been solid in the faceoff circle (55.8 percent). That last part is big, because without Backstrom the duties fall to Jay Beagle (who has been great, at 63.6 percent) and Brooks Laich who has been awful at 35.6 percent — and he’s taken the most draws on the team.
Caps head coach Dale Hunter admitted losing Backstrom would hurt, but wanted to put it in the past.
“It’s disappointing,” Hunter said. “[But] he’s suspended, it’s in the history books and we have to concentrate tomorrow”