Caps' Backstrom back for Game 4 of East final vs. Lightning - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Caps' Backstrom back for Game 4 of East final vs. Lightning

AP Hockey Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Nicklas Backstrom is back in the Capitals' lineup for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Backstrom has missed Washington's past four games with a right hand injury. His return means he got medical clearance earlier Thursday after coach Barry Trotz said Backstrom hadn't been cleared and called him a game-time decision.

Fans cheered Backstrom when shown on arena video screens during pregame warmups after he took rushes on the third line with Chandler Stephenson and Brett Connolly. Minutes earlier, the team tweeted: "Guess who's back?" with a GIF of Backstrom.

The 30-year-old Swedish center hasn't played since taking a slap shot from Pittsburgh's Justin Schultz on May 5. His return is a significant boost for Washington, which leads the series 2-1.

Before being injured, Backstrom was one of Washington's top players in the postseason with 13 points in 11 games. He replaces Alex Chiasson with Andre Burakovsky getting bumped down to the fourth line.

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