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5/18:It was only known at pregame warmups that Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom would make his return to the lineup after missing four games due to a hand injury. Head coach Barry Trotz thought better of juggling his top two lines, opting to place Backstrom centering Chandler Stephenson and Brett Connolly on the third line. Backstrom logged four shots on goal, which tied him for a team high, but he also posted a minus-one rating. The Swedish pivot saw plenty of ice time (18:51), including 5:43 with the man advantage, so owners can remain optimistic that he’ll be deployed in all situations. Lars Eller, Backstrom’s stand-in for the last four games, has taken five minor penalties in just the last two games, resulting in a pair of Tampa Bay power-play goals. This undisciplined play could open the door for Backstrom to at least slide up into the top six. Kuznetsov is doing too well on the top line to shake that up, we would think.--Kevin Acorn - RotoBaller

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