Nicklas Backstrom’s girlfriend, Liza Berg, gave birth to the couple’s first child, a baby girl, early this morning. Both mother and baby are doing well, according to a team spokesman.
Skating in Backstrom’s place on the top line at practice is gritty center Michael Latta, recalled this morning from the Hershey Bears.
Latta made his NHL debut in the season opener at Chicago but was assigned to the Bears before he could make a second appearance after Washington picked up defenseman Alexander Urbom off waivers. He recorded a goal and an assist in Hershey’s season opener Saturday night, a 4-3 overtime loss to the Adirondack Phantoms.
“He did a good job and we wanted to show him we thought he did a good job,” Coach Adam Oates said. “So we had the opportunity, some practice time and brought him back.”
The Capitals made another roster move Tuesday, placing defenseman Jack Hillen, who is expected to miss four to six months after suffering a fractured left tibial plateau, on the long term injury list retroactive to Oct. 3. That gives the Capitals a little more wiggle room under the salary cap. While his $700,000 salary cap hit still counts against the team’s overall cap payroll, the Capitals can receive cap relief if it exceeds the $64.3 million salary cap while Hillen is on LTI. (Capgeek has a good breakdown of how this works.)
With the exception of Latta filling in on the first line, the forward lineup remains the same as it has been for the past several days and games.