SUN Hockey Pool

NHL notes: Backstrom close to a return

Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals could have Nicklas Backstrom back shortly. (REUTERS/Mike...

Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals could have Nicklas Backstrom back shortly. (REUTERS/Mike Carlson)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:57 PM ET

There is speculation in Washington that forward Nicklas Backstrom could return to the Capitals lineup during the next few days after recovering from a concussion suffered Jan. 3.

"He's doing battle drills, he's getting ready for contact, and getting ready for games," Capitals coach Dale Hunter told CSN Washington. "It takes these kind of resistance drills and he's doing well."

The Caps play in Boston on Thursday and are home to Montreal on Saturday.

FLYERS GOALIE AILING

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov has a minor fracture in his right foot and is listed as day to day.

Bryzgalov, who started 19 of the past 20 games, will sit out Thursday against the Maple Leafs at Toronto.

The Flyers termed it a "chip fracture" and said it didn't appear to be serious. General manager Paul Holmgren said he hoped the 31-year-old could practise Friday, but it was not known whether Bryzgalov would be available to play games Saturday and Sunday.

The Flyers said the injury occurred during the pre-game warmup Monday when the goalie was struck by a shot from Jakub Voracek.

Bryzgalov, who signed a nine-year contract worth $51 million before the season, has a 10-2-1 record in his past 14 games.

The Flyers also will be without defenceman Kimmo Timonen, listed as day to day with an upper-body injury.

Jason Bacashihua has been called up from Adirondack of the AHL to back up Sergei Bobrovsky while defenceman Marc-Andre Bourdon has been recalled to replace Timonen.

BRIEFLY

Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Ben Lovejoy had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Tuesday and will be sidelined up to four weeks. Lovejoy, who has one goal and four assists in 34 games this season, was hurt in a game Sunday ... Defenceman Kris Letang was listed as day to day with a lower-body injury and was scratched from the Penguins lineup for their Tuesday night game against the New York Islanders ... The Winnipeg Jets signed defenceman Will O'Neill, 23, to an entry-level contract Tuesday. O'Neill, who had three goals and 30 assists in 40 games for the University of Maine this season, will report to St. John's of the AHL.


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