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David Backes returns to Bruins after elbow surgery

Forward missed five games after fast start, will play vs. Rangers

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

BOSTON -- Forward David Backes will return for the Boston Bruins against the New York Rangers at TD Garden on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, NESN, MSG, NHL.TV).

Backes, who has two goals and two assists in five games, missed the past five games after elbow surgery Oct. 24. He began skating on his own Wednesday and joined the Bruins for their morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena on Saturday.

"It's nothing that's critical, we'll be bumping and grinding the way we normally do and be back to full speed. And hopefully continue to help these guys win games the way they started a good streak on the road," Backes said.

Backes will return to his spot on right wing next to center David Krejci and left wing Ryan Spooner for the Bruins, who've won three in a row.

"I think we've seen what he brings when he played for us. He's a big body, he's an experienced guy, he's strong on the puck, he can make plays. He brings a lot," coach Claude Julien said. "I think also he brings also a good presence to our hockey club. So he's without a doubt going to be a bonus for us tonight."

Backes said he felt fine right after surgery, but he needed to be held back from making a quick return because of the risk of infection. He'll play with a little extra padding and continue to be observed by the medical staff going forward.

His biggest concern is returning to the Bruins during their hot streak.

"Just like when I came here a month ago. I want to be a complementary piece and do my part and help win games," Backes said. "And I think that's the mentality that really started to sink in ... this new kind of identity that's been established on that road trip is something where it can carry a long way and it's the identity that wins games in this league. I recognize that that's the way it is and that's my mentality as well."

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