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Caps' Backstrom skates for second straight day

by Dave Lozo
Nicklas Backstrom, out more than two months due to a concussion, offered some good news to the Washington Capitals' Web site Wednesday.

"I felt good," said Backstrom after lightly skating for the second day in a row at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. "There was no problems at all."

Backstrom suffered a concussion on Jan. 3 after taking an illegal hit to the head from Calgary's Rene Bourque, who was suspended five games for the incident. Bourque is now a member of the Montreal Canadiens. Backstrom skated a few times after the injury, but was eventually shut down and went home to Sweden to get his mind off hockey.

"I was out for a couple games and you get frustrated seeing all the guys," Backstrom said. "You want to be out there with them. I was changing up the atmosphere a little bit. Go home, see my family, girlfriend, stuff like that. I think that was a good thing to do and I feel better after that.

"I wasn't thinking as much about hockey as I was here. Hopefully, that helped me a lot I could do my owne thing. I was biking and stuff there."

Backstrom was leading the Capitals in scoring at the time of his injury and still ranks fourth on the team with 42 points in 38 games. He tried skating in the days that followed the Bourque and one more time later in the month before he was eventually shut down.

The 24-year-old said there's no comparison to how he felt when he woke up Jan. 4 compared to Wednesday morning after skating Tuesday.

"I've been improving a lot. I don't have the same feeling I had from when I first got the hit," Backstrom said. "We're on the program right now and I just got back from Sweden. It feels better. I started skating. You have to see where you are.

"It's day and night. It's a good sign I think. But I don't know anything else. I just know I'm skating thepast two days."

One thing Backstrom doesn't know is when he'll be back. He's currently on LTIR and there is no timetable for his return.

"We'll see what happens," Backstrom said. "The only thing I can tell you now is I'm on the ice skating light. We'll go from there. It's a process and we're working on it. I want to be out there so bad. A concussion is nothing to play around with. You want to make sure you're 100 percent before you go out there."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo


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