Backstrom received an elbow to the head from the Calgary Flames' Rene Bourque Tuesday and did not take part in Wednesday's optional skate while undergoing concussion testing. Backstrom practiced Thursday and Friday, but did not skate Saturday. After practice, head coach Dale Hunter said that the team is playing it safe with Backstrom:
"No, he's not going to play," Coach Dale Hunter said, when asked for an update on Backstrom's status. "You've just got to be careful, he feels good but still got to be careful with it."
Saturday will be only the sixth game that Backstrom has missed during his five-year career.
Meanwhile, Tomas Vokoun will start for Washington. He made 18 saves Tuesday in the Caps' 3-1 win over the Flames and has allowed only five goals during his streak of four consecutive starts.