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Backstrom, Wilson Remain Out For Capitals vs. Predators; Will They Play Sunday?

The Washington Capitals will not see Nicklas Backstrom or Tom Wilson draw back in on Friday, but will they return by the end of the week? Here’s what head coach Peter Laviolette had to say.



WASHINGTON — Washington Capitals forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson are gearing up for a long-awaited return to play, but their season debuts will have to wait as they will remain out of the mix against the Nashville Predators on Friday.

Head coach Peter Laviolette provided an update on the two ahead of puck drop on Friday, saying that while they won't be in against the Nashville Predators, they are still very close to drawing back in. Both have been a full go for contact in practice over the last couple of weeks.

"They've been practicing in full, skating in full, contact in full, everything's been full for them," Laviolette said. "They're just in the same mode of continuing to push to get to where they want to be where we want them to be."

If asked if they would play on Sunday, Laviolette wouldn't guarantee anything, but he wouldn't rule it out, either.

"We'll see where things are at. See after tonight where everything's at with them tomorrow and go from there," Laviolette added.

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Backstrom is working his way back following hip resurfacing surgery in June. The experimental procedure put an end to chronic hip pain that'd made it difficult for Backstrom to skate and function in his daily life, and since then, there have been no setbacks as he finds himself able to skate and live pain-free.

"I'm not going to put pressure on myself," Backstrom said. "All I can say is, I feel great, and as I said earlier, the biggest thing for me is I have no pain, that I'm able to skate and move the way I want to. Hopefully, that's enough."

Wilson, meanwhile, is recovering from ACL surgery after tearing the ligament in Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He is feeling stronger with each practice, and he said that the expectation is for him to return and continue the strong game that led to a career-high 52 points last season.

"My expectation is that I have to be where I was before. I mean, that's the only acceptable outcome," Wilson said. "I want to be the player that I was before, so this whole process, I've had that in mind and that's been my goal… there's going to be a couple of games to get my feet under me. But just come back and do whatever I can to chip in and help the team keep moving forward and push towards the playoffs."

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