Nicklas Backstrom returns healthy, starts Game 4

Brian Tinsman
May 17, 2018 - 8:23 pm
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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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If he's healthy enough to play, he's healthy enough to start, and that's exactly what Nicklas Backstrom did for the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

Coming off a disappointing loss at home, Backstrom gives the Caps' offense a shot in the arm after missing each game since Game 5 vs. Pittsburgh in the conference semifinals. He blocked a laser shot in that game and has worn a brace ever since.

Finally medically cleared after being called "a game-time decision" on Thursday morning, it was speculated that he might miss faceoffs with his injured hand. However, he played and won both of his first two faceoffs.

His return was cheered by fans, but means the most to the players who skate alongside him.

"He’s our leader. We all love him," gushed Alex Ovechkin. "He wants to be back. He wants to be part of the success and he’s our best center.

"If he’s going to be in the lineup, it’s going to give us more room to create with the lines and the team’s going to be happy."

 

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