The Washington Times - January 7, 2012, 02:36PM

SAN JOSE, Calif. | Nicklas Backstrom’s status is a daily question after he took an elbow to the head Tuesday night from Rene Bourque. He skated Thursday and Friday and reported feeling “pretty good” both times, but Saturday at HP Pavilion, the Washington Capitals’ leading scorer was not on the ice.

Backstrom said Friday he didn’t think he had anything, and earlier in the week believed the problems he was dealing with after the elbow were just a result of migraines.


But he will not play Saturday night at the San Jose Sharks, coach Dale Hunter confirmed.

“We’re just being careful,” Hunter said. “So that’s what it is.”

The Caps have not yet called Backstrom’s injury a concussion.

The Caps’ line rushes Saturday morning were as follows:

Alex Ovechkin – Brooks Laich – Troy Brouwer

Alexander Semin – Marcus Johansson – Mike Knuble

Jason Chimera – Jeff Halpern – Joel Ward

Matt Hendricks – Mathieu Perreault – Jay Beagle

Likely D-pairings:

Karl Alzner – John Carlson

Roman Hamrlik – Dennis Wideman

Dmitry Orlov – Mike Green

Expect Tomas Vokoun to make his fifth straight start.