The Capitals winning streak came to an end with a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Ottawa Senators Thursday night but the more significant loss came in the form of an injury to first-line center Nicklas Backstrom.
Backstrom took a Mike Green slap shot off his
left right arm in the third period at Scotiabank Place and didn’t take a shift in the final 7 minutes 16 seconds.
“It caught him in the arm,” Green said. “He’s all right but definitely gave him a bruise. So I hope everything’s okay with him.”
Coach Adam Oates only said that Backstrom would be evaluated Friday. The Capitals are scheduled to skate at Bell Centre in Montreal Friday at 1 p.m.
Losing Backstrom for any length of time would be a damaging blow to the Capitals. Backstrom entered Thursday’s game with three goals and 20 assists in the previous 18 games and has had an instrumental role in Washington’s recent success.
There’s no easy way to make up for the absence of Backstrom, even with the addition of Mike Ribeiro. Backstrom plays in all situations – even strength, penalty kill and power play – and is one of the most trusted players on the team in key situations.
“To be honest with you, I don’t know what’s happened with him right now,” Alex Ovechkin said when asked about his concern for Backstrom. “He’s our top guy. I hope he’s doing good.”