The Capitals have placed center Nicklas term injured reserve.

The Washington Post reported the move, which clears up additional room under the salary cap in advance of Monday's 3 p.m. (et) trade deadline.

Backstrom hasn't played since January 3, when he was the recipient of an elbow to the head from then-Calgary Flames forward Rene Bourque. Bourque served a five-game suspension for the hit and has since been dealt to Montreal.

Prior to the setback, the 24-year-old Swede totaled 13 goals and 42 points in 38 contests.

The Capitals will have roughly $7.6 million in available cap space, according to the Post and NHL.com, provided Backstrom misses the remainder of the season while recovering.