Nicklas Backstrom is expected to suit up in Pittsburgh on Monday night as the Caps look to eliminate the Penguins in Game 6 of the teams’ second-round series, Coach Barry Trotz said on Sunday.
Backstrom suffered an upper-body injury Saturday night and did not finish the game, a 6-3 Caps’ victory at Capital One Arena.
Although the nature and extent of Backstrom’s injury remain unknown, Coach Barry Trotz said he anticipates the star center will be able to play.
“He got some maintenance today,” Trotz said. “We'll see where he is tomorrow."
Asked if he expects Backstrom to play in Game 6, Trotz said, “Yeah.”
The Caps did not practice Sunday as they made their way back to Pittsburgh.
Backstrom’s availability—even if he’s limited—is critically important for a Caps’ forward core that’s already depleted. Tom Wilson will serve the final game of a three-game suspension on Monday, while Andre Burakovsky remains week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Burakovsky has resumed skating but he will not accompany the team to Pittsburgh, Trotz said.
Trotz also provided an update on defenseman John Carlson, who was evaluated for an injury after absorbing a high hit from Jake Guentzel in the final minute of Game 5.
“He was looked at; I think he'll be fine,” Trotz said of Carlson.
As for Backstrom, it’ll be interesting to see how much he’s able to do. He did not record a point in Game 5 while skating a postseason-low 15:55prior to leaving the game in the third period. He also did not record any shot attempts.
“You’re always concerned any time that you’ve got anybody that’s nicked up at this time of year,” Trotz said. “But we’ll see where we are tomorrow.”
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