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Good news in Washington: Nicklas Backstrom cleared to practice

Washington Capitals v Toronto Maple Leafs

TORONTO, CANADA - NOVEMBER 19: Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals shoots during warm-up before NHL action against the Toronto Maple Leafs at The Air Canada Centre November 19, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

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Business is about to pick up in the nation’s capital.

The Capitals got a surprise at this morning’s practice when they got word Nicklas Backstrom was cleared to participate fully with no restrictions, as reported by Chuck Gormley of With the season coming to an end in just a couple weeks and the playoff push going hard in Washington, getting the team’s best playmaker back to close out the year would give them a huge advantage.

Backstrom has been out of action since early January after taking an elbow to the face courtesy of then Flames forward Rene Bourque. Curiously enough, Bourque and his current team, Montreal, play in Washington on March 31. With how Backstrom has progressed in his concussion recovery, it’s not outside the realm of possibility he makes his comeback by then.

For a season that’s had a lot of drama already, Backstrom returning against the player that knocked him out would amp things up a bit in the middle of a playoff push.