The Capitals will be without Nicklas Backstrom for Game 4 against the Boston Bruins due to a one-game suspension levied by the NHL. TSN's Bob McKenzie first reported the news.
Backstrom received a match penalty after the final whistle in Monday's Game 3 after he cross-checked Boston's Rich Peverley. Backstrom was retaliating from a hit Peverley made on Alex Ovechkin in the game's final moments.
NHL senior vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan released a video Tuesday night explaining the suspension.
"Even though Backstrom may have been threatened by Peverley's stick, the fact is Peverley is in a defensive stance when Backstrom is approaching him. Backstrom's reaction is excessive and reckless," he said.
Shanahan acknowledged that Peverley did not suffer an injury on the play and that Backstrom has no prior history of this type of behavior. Backstrom has never been suspended or fined in his five NHL seasons. Shanahan said that as a group the Department of Player Safety considered his clean record and still decided to suspend him.
Backstrom will miss Game 4 after registering two points in the series' first three games. He scored the game-winning goal in Game 2 to tie the series and recorded an assist in the Capitals' Game 3 loss.
Backstrom missed 40 games this season due to a concussion he suffered on Jan. 3 vs. the Calgary Flames. The Capitals have complained themselves about Backstrom being targeted, specifically in the head, throughout the series.
On Monday night Backstrom was asked by reporters about the Bruins' after-whistle antics and how he and his teammates can avoid participating.
You just stay out of it, thats probably the easiest way, he said.
He was then asked if it is "easier said than done."
Yea, absolutely," he replied.
Here are Shanahan's full comments on the suspension: