Nicklas Backstrom Injury: Washington Capitals Place Center On Injured Reserve

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 03: Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals pursues Lee Stempniak #22 of the Calgary Flames as he brings the puck up the ice during the third period at Verizon Center on January 3, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom has been placed on injured reserve. He's missed two games after an elbow to the head, and could miss more.

The Washington Capitals may be losing a major part of their offense for some time: Nicklas Backstrom has been placed on injured reserve as a result of an injury sustained when he took an elbow to the head in a game against the Calgary Flames last week.

While concussion tests have been inconclusive on Backstrom, Capitals coach Dale Hunter told reporters that "he's not 100 percent," and that the team is "being cautious" with its first-line center. Backstrom, who has 42 points in 42 games this season, missed Washington's last two games, both losses.

Backstrom can be activated from the injured reserve list at any time, but will not play against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night, and his reassignment to the injured reserve list allows the Capitals to call up Tomas Kundratek from their AHL affiliate.

For more on the Capitals and Washington-area sports, visit Capitals blog Japers Rink and SB Nation DC.

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