Sport NHL playoffs 2018: Nicklas Backstrom's return biggest Game 4 question facing Capitals, Lightning

21:15  17 may  2018
21:15  17 may  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

NHL playoffs 2018: Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom, Andre Burakovsky upgraded to day to day

  NHL playoffs 2018: Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom, Andre Burakovsky upgraded to day to day Andre Burakovsy has been out since Game 2 of Round 1 while Nicklas Backstrom missed Game 6 Monday against the Penguins.Coach Barry Trotz told reporters Wednesday that both have been upgraded to day-to-day after sustaining injuries during the postseason.

NHL Playoffs 2018 Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Game 1 (in Tampa): Friday, May 11, 8 p.m. ET (NBCS) Game 2 (in Tampa): Sunday The Lightning enter the series with their high-powered roster fully intact, while the health of Nicklas Backstrom could loom large for the Capitals .

— NHL (@ NHL ) May 14, 2018 . 8:27 p.m. — Big collision in the Tampa crease as the goalscorer Wilson crashes into Vasilevskiy. 7:40 p.m. — The teams have taken the ice for pregame warmups, but Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom is not out there with his teammates.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Barry Trotz began his press conference following the Capitals’ Thursday morning skate with: “Day-to-day, game-time decision, hasn’t been medically cleared.” As has been the case since late in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the coach was talking about Nicklas Backstrom’s game status.

Unlike the previous updates, though, was the reference to the Capitals’ center’s status for that night’s Game 4 of the East finals as being up to the medical staff. There had been no indications before the other four games he’d missed that he was close enough to return, but with that pronouncement, “game-time decision” took on an all-new meaning.

NHL playoffs 2018: Predators' Mike Fisher ruled out Game 7

  NHL playoffs 2018: Predators' Mike Fisher ruled out Game 7 Mike Fisher returned from retirement to earn another shot at a Stanley Cup, but he will be unable to help the Predators advance Thursday.Mike Fisher (lower body) will not play tonight and is day-to-day.

NHL playoffs 2018 : Capitals claim Game 1 from slow-starting Lightning . 7:40 p.m. — Nicklas Backstrom isn’t on the ice for warmups. He’ s out of the lineup, as expected. Andre Burakovsky is in after missing the Caps’ last 10 games .

NHL playoffs 2018 : Capitals claim Game 1 from slow-starting Lightning . 7:40 p.m. — Nicklas Backstrom isn’t on the ice for warmups. He’ s out of the lineup, as expected. Andre Burakovsky is in after missing the Caps’ last 10 games .

a hockey player on the field © (Getty Images)

Backstrom might be looking at an extra precautionary day off for his injured right hand, had the Capitals won Tuesday night in Washington and taken a 3-0 series lead over the Lightning. But the Lightning’s dominant 4-2 win made Game 4 at Capital One Arena far more urgent.

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Tampa Bay has a chance to even the series at two games each, and Thursday night will determine whether the Lightning have wrenched momentum back from a Capitals team that returned from Tampa brimming with confidence.

The potential return of Backstrom would improve the Capitals’ chances of regaining momentum.

Meanwhile, a handful of factors favor the Lightning continuing the reversal of fortune they engineered in Game 3:

NHL Playoffs 2018: Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom, Andre Burakovsky game-time decisions for Game 1 against Lightning

  NHL Playoffs 2018: Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom, Andre Burakovsky game-time decisions for Game 1 against Lightning Burakovsky has been out since April 15 while Backstrom missed Washington's Game 6 victory Monday over the Penguins.Trotz says Burakovsky and Backstrom are both game-time decisions. Backstrom did not participate in the morning skate.

Capitals ’ Nicklas Backstrom , Andre Burakovsky progressing from injuries, questionable for Game 1. Toronto is now the saddest sports city. The Capitals could exploit the Lightning ’ s biggest statistical weakness. There’ s a cursed Capitals puck buried beneath the Penguins’ arena.

Capitals vs. Lightning Preview: Keys to victory. TAMPA— Nicklas Backstrom joined his When is game 2 of the capitals vs. lightning playoff series? Game 2 of the Capitals vs. Lightning 2018 NHL Playoff series takes place on Sunday, May 12 at 8:00 p.m. in Tampa.

— Anton Stralman avoided discipline for Tuesday’s hit on the Capitals’ Tom Wilson. The Caps complained long and loudly about a double standard, that the Stralman play deserved a fine or suspension at least as much as what Wilson had done to earn his three-game suspension against the Penguins. More critically, Wilson hinted (and their play bore out) that the Capitals were somewhat “tentative” after that first-period hit, their early aggressiveness gradually draining away until the Lightning scored. “I don’t really think I was myself” after the play, Wilson said Thursday, adding that he expected he would be for Game 4.

MORE: On Tom Wilson and becoming an NHL villain

— The Lightning’s stars finally shone. Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman were the dominant players in Tuesday’s win, and the team followed their lead at both ends. They combined for three goals and four assists. It was just the second time Stamkos and Kucherov both scored in the same game this postseason, and the first time all three had (it was Hedman’s first goal of the playoffs).

Lightning vs. Capitals: Live score, updates from Game 2 of Eastern Conference finals

  Lightning vs. Capitals: Live score, updates from Game 2 of Eastern Conference finals Alex Ovechkin led the Capitals to a Game 1 win on the road, will the Lightning respond? Sporting News has live updates from Game 2.Alex Ovechkin scored a goal and registered an assist as Washington jumped out to a 4-0 lead and eventually held on for a 4-2 win at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

More 2018 NHL Playoff Pages. Tampa Bay Lightning tied with Washington Capitals . View Matchup ». Tampa Bay Lightning . 2. Game 2, April 30. Nicklas Backstrom • WSH. 0.91. Patrice Bergeron • BOS.

CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS 2018 NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE. Nicklas Backstrom will not play in Game 6 after suffering an upper-body injury in Game 5. He traveled with the team and was considered a game -time decision, but did not participate in morning skate or pregame warmups.

— Their power play paid off again. The Capitals did make it easy for them, to be sure, by committing so many avoidable penalties, but the Lightning punished them for it for the third straight game. Trotz didn’t think the solution for his team was very complex: “Don’t take any penalties, move your feet, be on the right side of the puck, make good decisions.’’

— They had the sharper goalie. Andrei Vasilevskiy raised his game under desperate circumstances for the Lightning. Since regaining the starting job in Game 3 of the first round, the Capitals’ Braden Holtby had his first game that could arguably be classified as a dud. He had been 10-2 this postseason going into Tuesday. Seeing either of them play sub-par Thursday would be a surprise.

NHL playoffs 2018: Evgeny Kuznetsov sets Capitals' playoff points record .
Evgeny Kuznetsov has scored 11 goals and added 11 assists this postseason.In fact, Kuznetsov has performed better this postseason than any Wahington player in history. On the stat sheet that is.

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