Nicklas Backstrom and the Washington Capitals were hoping his automatic one-game suspension would be rescinded after review by the NHL's Department of Player Safety. They're not so lucky. Arguably Washington's most dangerous forward, Backstrom will miss a pivotal Game 4 between the Caps and the Boston Bruins on Thursday evening.
Brendan Shanahan called Backstrom's cross-check to the face of Rich Peverley "excessive and reckless," and he emphasized that while Peverley had just tripped Alex Ovechkin and had his stick raised towards Backstrom's face, it was Backstrom who approached Peverley, noting that the Bruin was in a defensive stance.
Losing Backstrom is huge for the Capitals. He's been their best forward since returning from a concussion late in the season, and his offensive impact has been seen in this series against the Bruins. There's no doubt that losing Backstrom makes the Caps an easier team to handle offensively, and Boston will welcome his absence, even if it's just for a single game.