In his absence the Capitals have been able to continue winning, defeating the Penguins in Game 6 of the second round and then opening the Conference Final series with a 4-2 win over the Lightning.
In Backstrom’s absence the Capitals have been using Lars Eller on the second line between Jakub Vrana and T.J. Oshie. In 11 games this postseason Backstrom has three goals and 10 assists for the Capitals and is the team’s third-leading scorer, trailing only Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. That came after a 71-point (21 goals, 50 assists) performance in 81 regular season games.
Eller scored a goal for the Capitals in their Game 1 win over the Lightning and has four goals and four assists this postseason.
The Capitals are playing in their first Conference Final series since 1998 and have a chance to take a 2-0 series lead with a win on Sunday.