There's a certain instinct needed to make the perfect pass. Nicklas Backstrom has it.

On Tuesday night, the Washington Capitals' star center showed he can turn that instinct on at a moment's notice, making a couple transcendent plays that had immediate impact in the 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames.

But Backstrom also left the game late in the third period after taking an elbow to the head from forward Rene Bourque, who just recently served a two-game suspension for a hit on Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks. Backstrom was not made available to reporters following the victory and his three-point night, as he was being evaluated by doctors.

"We just removed him from the game," coach Dale Hunter said. "It was precautionary, and he's getting evaluated right now. We'll know more tomorrow."