Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom and defenseman Mike Green left the team's road trip early, heading back to Washington before Monday's game against the Los Angeles Kings, according to The Washington Post's Katie Carrera.
General Manager George McPhee said that neither Backstrom nor Green were going to play against the Kings, so the team decided to send them home early. Backstrom missed Saturday's 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks with a head injury sustained Tuesday in Washington's 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames. Backstrom received an elbow to the head from Rene Bourque and left Tuesday's game late in the third period, but practiced Thursday and Friday, providing both him and Dale Hunter with some cautious optimism. Yet, Backstrom has not skated since.
Meanwhile, Green did not play in the third period Saturday after experiencing some tightness in his groin. Green will now have missed 24 of the Caps' last 26 games with a strained right groin muscle. He returned Tuesday against the Flames.