Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom enters COVID-19 protocol

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Washington Capitals veteran centre Nicklas Backstrom entered the COVID-19 protocol, the team said prior to Friday night’s road game against the Winnipeg Jets.

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The 34-year-old Backstrom made his season debut on Wednesday against the host Chicago Blackhawks after being sidelined due to a hip injury. He had an assist while playing 18 minutes in the 5-4 loss to Chicago but didn’t travel with the team to Winnipeg.

Backstorm is one of three Capitals in protocol, joining forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and Garnet Hathaway.

Centre Nic Dowd and defenceman Trevor van Riemsdyk were removed from protocol on Wednesday and played against Chicago. But they also weren’t available Friday due to Canada’s coronavirus mandates.

Backstrom (258 goals, 723 assists) is 19 points away from 1,000 for his 14-year career, all with the Capitals.

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