Nicklas Backstrom will not play in Game 6 for Capitals


The Washington Capitals will not have center Nicklas Backstrom on Monday night as they attempt to close out their second-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

He appeared to be injured in Game 5 when he was hit in the hand by a Justin Schultz shot.

The Capitals are simply calling it an upper-body injury.

[NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub]

Backstrom did not play the final 14 minutes of the game on Saturday. He also did not take part in the morning skate earlier in the day and was expected to be a game-time decision. The Capitals are already playing without winger Tom Wilson as he continues to serve his three-game suspension. Andre Burakovsky is also out of the Capitals’ lineup due to an upper body injury.

Lars Eller was skating in Backstrom’s place on the second line alongside Jakub Vrana and T.J. Oshie.

In 81 games during the regular season Backstrom recorded 71 points (21 goals, 50 points) for the Capitals, finishing as the team’s third-leading scorer behind Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

So far this postseason he has three goals and 10 assists for the Capitals. That includes five points in the series against the Penguins, three of which came in the Capitals’ Game 3 win when he set up Ovechkin for the game-winning goal.


Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.