Nicklas Backstrom practices in San Jose

January 6, 2012

Nicklas Backstrom wasn’t on the ice for the start of Washington’s practice at HP Pavilion in San Jose Friday, but the center did join his teammates for practice about 15 minutes into the session after he concluded another round of evaluations.

Backstrom was elbowed in the head Tuesday by Calgary’s Rene Bourque, but after completing a full practice session at KCI on Thursday, the 24-year-old said he felt good and hoped to be cleared to face the Sharks on Saturday.

That Backstrom has taken the ice for practice and is wearing a gray jersey as part of the second line — along with Marcus Johansson and Mike Knuble — appears to be another positive sign.

I’ll have more on Backstrom’s status once practice wraps up, but in the meantime here are the lines the Capitals are using today. All eight defensemen and both goaltenders are on the ice as well.

Ovechkin-Laich-Brouwer

Johansson-Backstrom-Knuble

Chimera-Halpern-Ward

Hendricks-Perreault-Beagle-Semin

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