Mar 18, 2011, 12:51 PM EDT
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.
- Bruins sign three — Hayes, Connolly, and DeFazio 10
- Babcock expects Kadri to be ‘an elite player’ 14
- No expansion bid expected from Kansas City 32
- Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million 17
- Report: Kopitar, Kings in ‘early stages of negotiations’ for extension 12
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 13
- Report: Plotnikov paid $500K to get out of KHL contract 14
- Philadelphia signs ’15 first rounder Provorov 12
- Brandon Saad brings championship experience to Blue Jackets 22
- Sharks sign Joel Ward to three-year deal 25