The Washington Capitals have been eliminated from playoff contention, and, sure, Friday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks — the 81st game of the season — was literally meaningless. But dammit, don’t tell that to Nicklas Backstrom.
Backstrom had a goal, an assist, and set his focus on recording his first career Gordie Howe hat trick. Angry Swede is angry.
First, the goal. How did it happen? I’m going to go ahead and quote Craig Laughlin here. The silver medalist and Zyrtec-user shot the puck from zero angle and banked the puck “off the right cheek of [Crawford's] butt.” Well put, Locker.
Backstrom also recorded a power play assist on Alex Ovechkin’s 51st goal of the season. Nicky leads the league in power play points with 44.
Finally, the Super Swede went hard to the net and tried to knock home an Alex Ovechkin rebound while the teams skated at even strength. Instead of getting the puck, however, Backstrom basically slashed Crawford’s hand.
He did not appreciate that much. Nor did his teammates.
After the scrum finally died down, Backstrom and Crawford found each other again.
And they chatted a bit.
Later in the period, the two made-up, put on stretch pants, and did pilates at center ice.