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Bruce Boudreau says both Michal Neuvirth and Nicklas Backstrom are ‘OK’

Mar 8, 2011, 12:28 AM EST

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Nicklas Backstrom, Joe Thornton AP

While the Washington Capitals earned a hard-fought shootout win to improve their lead in the Southeast Division against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight, it seemed like it might have come with two caveats: injuries to Nicklas Backstrom and Michal Neuvirth.

It looked like Backstrom aggravated his thumb injury (forcing him out after the second period), while Neuvirth left the game after the first period when a shot him in the mask.

Katie Carrera passes along good news on both fronts from coach Bruce Boudreau, who said that each player is “OK.”

On Neuvirth:

Boudreau said part of the metal from the mask went into Neuvirth’s eye after that first shot. They got it out thou[gh]. “He’s going to be Ok.”

Part of his mask went into his eye? Yikes.

Background on Backstrom (from here and here):

Backstrom fell on his left hand/fractured thumb, Boudreau said he’s going to be ok and that he wanted to come back vs Lightning. #Caps

Looked like Backstrom’s thumb and possibly part of his hand was wrapped after the game but it was hard to tell to what extent.

Now, keep in mind, this might be a matter of semantics. Being “OK” doesn’t necessarily mean that both Neuvirth and Backstrom are going to be ready for the Capitals’ next game (against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday), but it should at least be soothing for those worried about two important players missing serious time.

Still, the team should be careful with Backstrom. After all, it might be tough for him to maintain his world-class passing skills if that fractured thumb doesn’t heal sufficiently.

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