Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom will miss Game 1 against Tampa Bay Lightning


Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom missed Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night.

It was Backstrom’s second straight game out of the lineup with an injury to his right hand sustained in Game 5 of Washington’s series against Pittsburgh.

Despite Backstrom’s absence, the Capitals opened with a 4-2 win over the top-seeded Lightning.

Backstrom has three goals and 10 assists in 11 games this postseason, including one overtime game winner. The 30-year-old center had 71 points in 81 games during the regular season.

He skated Thursday at the Capitals’ practice facility in Virginia, working on some stickhandling and passing, but he did not practice.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz said that when Backstrom says he’s ready, he’ll be in the lineup.

Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday in Tampa.

ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski contributed to this report.

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