Capitals place ailing Backstrom on LTIR

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.