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The return comes against Rene Bourque, the player whose cheap-shot elbow caused Backstrom’s concussion.

“You know what? I don’t really care about that,” Backstrom said. “It happened, and I’m not going to waste any energy on it.”

No matter the opponent, no matter that extra storyline, it’s the perfect opportunity for Backstrom to return with four games left and the Capitals trying to finish out a run to the playoffs. They control their fate in the home stretch, and Backstrom wants to be leading the way.

“All of the games is going to be like a playoff game now. I think it’s good for me to get back on that kind of level,” he said. “You’ve got to be ready right away, and I’m hoping to be.”