Capitals get Backstrom back but place Kuznetsov in COVID-19 protocol

The Washington Capitals placed center Evgeny Kuznetsov in COVID-19 protocol on Wednesday, hours before a road game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Kuznetsov went into the protocol on the same day that center Nic Dowd and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk were removed from it. Forward Garnet Hathaway remains in the protocol.

Kuznetsov, 29, is in ninth season with the Capitals and has 138 goals and 310 assists (448 points) in 548 career games, including nine goals and 21 assists in 28 games this season.

Kuznetsov went on the COVID-19 list twice last season.

Backstrom returns

Washington also activated center Nicklas Backstrom (hip), who will be available to play for the first time this season. The 34-year-old Backstrom (258 goals, 722 assists) is 20 points away from 1,000 for his 14-year career, all with the Capitals.

“I’m feeling good right now,” Backstrom said Monday via “As you all know, we haven’t been having a lot of practice either. So it was nice to get a practice in and actually take some line rushes too. But feeling better, progressing and we’ll see where we’re at.”

–Field Level Media