Mar 18, 2011, 12:51 PM EST
Last night’s 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators was a tough one for the New Jersey Devils to take, especially because they must turn around and face the Washington Capitals in Newark tonight. They’ll have to beat a closer-to-full-strength Capitals squad, too, as Nicklas Backstrom will be back in the lineup for the first time since March 7th, according to Mike Vogel.
Backstrom has missed five games with a fractured thumb. According to his lofty standards, he’s had a slow 2010-11 season, with only 55 points in 67 games after his career-best 101 points in 82 games last season.
The Capitals have been playing well amid a variety of injuries, as they went on a nine-game winning streak before Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Washington can clinch a playoff berth if they beat the Devils and the Carolina Hurricanes lose in regulation tonight. Of course, this game is much bigger for New Jersey, who cannot afford many more losses at this point.
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Outrage over hockey violence, Gary Bettman is a happy man, Darryl Sutter is awesome, and more! 7
- Report: Isles coach Capuano not seen as problem 7
- Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Flyers challenge top-ranked Blackhawks 16
- Update: Ryan Callahan out 4-6 weeks with MCL sprain 12
- Ovechkin wills Caps to stunning shootout win vs. Bolts 62
- Bettman: No decision on expansion, but they’re listening 13
- Neal admits kneeing Marchand was ‘not the smartest decision’ 77
- Leafs captain Phaneuf suspended two games for boarding 37
- Rangers confirm Staal suffered concussion 8
- Winnipeg to get outdoor game; Phoenix wants one 33
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (182)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (137)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (118)