Caps fans can breathe a sigh of releif today. Following the Capitals annual team photo Thursday, center Nicklas Backstrom was out taking regular shifts on the Capitals second line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Troy Brouwer.
Backstrom, the Caps second leading scorer with 70 pts, was the recipient of a scary Drew Doughty check into the divider glass adjacent to the Capitals bench in the second period of the Caps 5-4 shootout loss to the LA Kings Tuesday night.
Backstrom was held out the remainder of the game for precautionary reasons.
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The bad news for Caps fans is that defenseman Jack Hillen did not practice after being injured in an open-ice collision with Alex Ovechkin during the overtime period against the Kings.
Hillen, who played in just 13 games this season because of a fractured left leg, apparently suffered a head injury on the play. His face made contact with Ovechkin's chest and he lay motionless on the ice for several seconds.
The Capitals are listing Hillen as day to day. If he cannot play on Saturday afternoon against the Boston Bruins, defenseman John Erskine is likley to take his place on the second defense pairing with Mike Green.
Capitals center Mikhail Grabovski, who has missed 21 of the Caps last 22 games with a left ankle injury, skated with the fourth line on Thursday and is hoping to return to the lineup on Saturday.