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Welcome back, Backstrom: Capitals centre returns from concussion in time for playoff run

Saturday, 03.31.2012 / 5:35 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Welcome back, Backstrom: Capitals centre returns from concussion in time for playoff run

WASHINGTON - Nicklas Backstrom is back for the Washington Capitals.

The top-line centre returned to the lineup Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens, his first game since suffering a concussion nearly three months ago.

Backstrom was injured when he was elbowed in the head by Rene Bourque in a win over Calgary on Jan. 4.

Even though he missed 40 games, Backstrom came back in fifth place on the team with 42 points.

Without him, the four-time defending Southeast Division champions have flirted with missing the playoffs. They were tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference entering Saturday's play.

Coach Dale Hunter said he would keep an eye on Backstrom's minutes, but there was no set limit as to how much the 24-year-old forward would play.

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We have no doubt how he can play. You don't, with four teams that are left, you're not getting here without good goaltending. All great goalies left, and [Bishop] is a top-tier goaltender in this league and he's shown it.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper on goalie Ben Bishop, who shut out the Rangers in Game 5