Photo: Geoff Burke
Early in the summer, the Caps revealed that Nicklas Backstrom had hip surgery. Despite leading the league in assists, it was an issue that plagued Backstrom all season long. Without the Swede, we assumed the Caps first line would struggle. Over the first two games, especially after Alex Ovechkin was scratched on Tuesday, the line couldn’t find its voice. However, against the Blackhawks, the trio of Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and TJ Oshie was an offensive force. Members of the line contributed two goals and five points on Thursday, leading the Caps to a 4-1 victory. Now head coach Barry Trotz may keep them together even after Backstrom returns.
“They’ve got some chemistry,” Trotz said after the game. “I think what happens with a line is it needs some time to talk things out. I think that there’s a mutual respect. I think that they’re just learning each other.”