ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) -Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom has decided he'd rather have a break during the All-Star weekend than take part in the NHL YoungStars game.
He announced Wednesday he was withdrawing from Saturday's game in Montreal. The second-year player leads the Southeast Division-leading Capitals in assists (36) and is second in points (48) behind Alex Ovechkin.
Backstrom played in the game last year and will be replaced by David Perron of St. Louis on the YoungStars roster.
"This year I felt like it made more sense for me to give someone else that opportunity and use this time to rest and prepare for the second half of the season with the Washington Capitals," Backstrom said in a statement released by the team. "I can assure Caps fans that I'm not injured."