Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Nicky celebrates his apple. (Photo: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Backstrom plays some pre-game soccer.

Backstrom (right) plays some pre-game soccer.

Washington Capitals forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson will play for a gold medal at the Sochi Olympics. Team Sweden defeated Teemu Selanne and Team Finland 2-1 early on Friday morning (our time) to earn the right. Erik Karlsson scored the game-winning goal and Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves.

While Johansson played only ten minutes and didn’t have much impact on the game, Backstrom certainly did – winning an insane 85% of his face-offs (16 of 19) and assisting on Sweden’s first goal of the night.

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Team Sweden’s Off Day in Photos

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Backstrom and Mojo, whatta pic. (Photo: @ErikKarlsson65)

Caps Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson and the rest of Team Sweden were busy on their day off. On Monday, the players traveled to the neighboring mountains in Krasnaya Polyana to watch Sweden win the Cross-Country men’s relay.

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Photo: @ErikKarlsson65

On Friday, we were treated to amazing photos of Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson riding bicycles to their games. In suits.

Now, well, Johansson is still pedaling, but he’s also pulling Swedish goaltender and forever-Capitals-rival Henrik Lundqvist around the Olympic Village. This seems dangerous, no?

Team Sweden defenseman Erik Karlsson documented the joy ride and even chirped The King on Twitter.

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Team Sweden pulled out their second straight win this morning, defeating Switzerland 1-0 on a late Daniel Alfredsson goal. That’s cool, but I can’t get past what happened before the game.

Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson rode bikes to their game at Bolshoy Ice Dome. Together. While wearing suits.

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Nicklas Backstrom and Team Sweden Take Team Photo

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Backstrom and Johansson (middle row, center) pose for the team photo.

Unlike Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson, Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson didn’t play on Thursday. Instead, Team Sweden held practice and took their team photos.

The Swedish-language site Aftonbladet has photos.

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Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn

With Swedish twin Henrik Sedin still ailing from a rib injury, Washington Capitals center Marcus Johnasson has been named to Sweden’s Olympic team as his injury replacement. According to @Rabiesmalin, Johansson was told the news through Nicklas Backstrom two hours before the Caps’ pre-game Olympic send-off ceremony with John Kerry.

This is the first time Johansson has represented his country in international competition since he was named captain of the Swedish World Junior Championship team in 2010. Johansson also played on the WJC team in 2009 and the U18 team in 2008 and 2007.

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Let’s be honest, in a 2-1 shootout loss to the league’s worst team there are few good moments to focus on. But as the Washington Capitals came out for the third period tied with the Buffalo Sabres 1-1, CSN accidentally caught the most fun-loving of fun-lovingest moments on the Caps bench.

As Joe B. discussed responses to CSN’s #CapitalsTalk question of the night, jokester Jason Chimera shoved Joel Ward and then whacked him in the face.

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Photo credit: Kim Klement

Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson has long struggled to be strong on the puck, but this year he has somehow become Mike Knuble incarnate along the boards and in the paint. I have no idea what changed.

During a late first period powerplay, Johansson exhibited his new grit, making Tampa pay for concentrating a wee too much on Alex Ovechkin.

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Nick Backstrom Named to Swedish Olympic Team

Ice Hockey - Day 10 - Sweden v Finland

Photo: Bruce Bennett

Sweden has released its roster for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and a familiar face is right in the middle. Caps center Nick Backstrom shares the roster with the Sedin twins, Henrik Lundqvist, Henrik Zetterberg, and Daniel Alfredsson. Marcus Johansson did not make the roster.

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Adam Oates Looks for Scoring Balance With New Top-Six

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Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

This season, Alex Ovechkin’s shot has been an unstoppable force of destruction. Ovi has registered 31 goals. His line’s scoring, however, has often been one-sided. Marcus Johansson and Nicklas Backstrom, Ovechkin’s linemates for much of the season, have scored just six even-strength goals. When Ovi’s hitting the net, it’s not a problem. But if last year’s MVP hits some bad luck, as he did over the four games before last night, the line struggles. Ovechkin has just a single assist during five-on-five play.

“It’s not enough,” Oates said when I asked him about that stat. “It shows how much all three guys are important.”

For Thursday’s game against the Hurricanes, Oates switched up his lines, putting Ovechkin with Eric Fehr and Mikhail Grabovski while placing Johansson and Backstrom with Brouwer.

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