Photo credit: Bill Kostroun
Although he’s among the NHL leaders in assists, Nicklas Backstrom has had a pretty quiet season. For most of the year, he’s been placed on the team’s second line, away from Alex Ovechkin. On the power play, it’s Mike Ribeiro who’s been racking up most of the primary assists.
That changed on Sunday night during the Capitals’ 3-2 shootout victory over the Rangers. Nicky made a hell of a lot of noise. Backstrom scoared a first period goal off his noggin,’ yelled at fellow countryman
Anton Stralman Carl Hagelin in the penalty box, and ended the game with his decisive fourth round shootout goal. His put the Capitals two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
Backstrom’s big night started 7:54 into the game. After Alex Ovechkin’s one-timer was muffled, the puck bounced high into the air. The puck ricocheted off Backstrom’s dome past Henrik Lundqvist, giving him his fifth goal of the season.
“I was just trying to get to the net,” Backstrom told CSN’s Chuck Gormley during intermission. “The puck bounced off my head I think. It’s one of those goals you just gotta take I guess.”
Backstrom would actually use his stick in the fourth round of the shootout.
As Nicky skated he played with the puck casually, then shot it short-side past Henrik Lundqvist’s glove. Game.
“It was a big week for us,” Backstrom said during CSN’s post-game show. “It’s not about getting 6 out of 8 points, we are playing better as a team. We just gotta keep going here and play 60 minutes every game.”
Photo credit: Paul Bereswill