Caps' Backstrom could face suspension

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals could be without star center Nicklas Backstrom for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Boston Bruins after Backstrom received a match penalty following the final buzzer of Game 3 Monday night at Verizon Center.

After Boston’s 4-3 margin of victory, Backstrom crosschecked Bruins forward Rich Peverley to the face.

The NHL rule book states that in addition to the match penalty, the player shall be automatically suspended from further competition until the commissioner has ruled on the issue.

“I think that it’s normal that there’s some intensity and the rivalry is getting better and bigger as we move forward here,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “You understand that those kinds of things are going to happen. The only thing that’s a little disappointing, for me personally, is the fact that this is the third time in three games our player has been crosschecked in the face.

“We saw the one on [David] Krejci where he was cut in Game 1, and [Alex] Ovechkin on [Dennis] Seidenberg in Game 2 and now Backstrom. You hope those things don’t get out of hand. I’m going to say the same thing I said last time: Somebody else has to deal with that and it’s not us. As a coach, I’m going to continue to get my team ready for the next game.”

Backstrom scored the winning goal in double overtime of Game 2 at TD Garden on Saturday.