DENVER (AP) Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz says center Nicklas Backstrom is dinged up and won't play Friday night against Colorado.
Trotz said it's for precautionary reasons after Backstrom was ''banged up a little bit'' at Philadelphia on Wednesday. Trotz isn't sure if Backstrom will play Saturday at Arizona.
Washington can afford to play it safe after already locking up the Presidents' Trophy as the top regular-season team in the NHL.
While the Capitals lose an option on offense for this game, the Avalanche have one back with Matt Duchene returning to the ice after missing six games due to a knee injury. Duchene leads Colorado with 29 goals.
Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon remains sidelined with a knee injury. There's no timetable for MacKinnon to begin skating again, coach Patrick Roy said.