Tuesday night at Verizon Center, Nicklas Backstrom had another one of those sublime performances that have punctuated his ten-year NHL career. And he did it quietly of course.
Backstrom tallied three assists, including the primary apple on Evgeny Kuznetsov’s game-winning goal, to help push the Capitals to a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild – the second best team in the Western Conference.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has always been defined by his consistency. In November, TSN’s Travis Yost did the math and revealed that Ovechkin had gone the last five seasons without a goal drought longer than six games. None of Ovechkin’s goal-scoring contemporaries — including Corey Pery, Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski, Steven Stamkos, and Tyler Seguin — could claim the same, all experiencing goal droughts in the double digits.
Sunday night, after 12 seasons and 907 career NHL games, Ovechkin finally showed he was mortal, going his tenth-straight game without a goal. It marks the longest single-season goalless streak of Ovechkin’s career.
Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, Barry Trotz reached an impressive personal milestone. After Washington’s 4-1 throttling of the New York Rangers, the Capitals head coach became the sixth bench boss of all-time to reach the 700-win plateau.
Four of those six coaches have won Stanley Cups.
After defeating the Anaheim Ducks 6-4, the Washington Capitals tied a NHL record for offensive prowess during a time in history where goalscoring is down.
The Caps tied the 1970-71 Boston Bruins for the most consecutive home games with five or more goals (11). Saturday marked the Capitals twelfth straight victory at home.
Rookie Zach Sanford scored the record-tying goal after tallying his first NHL goal late in the third period.
Over the last 11 games, the Caps have scored a ridiculous 6, 5, 5, 5, 6, 5, 6, 5, 5, 6 and 6 goals. That’s 60 goals, you guys.
Here are all of Caps tallies from tonight.
Don’t look now. Nicklas Backstrom is now a point away from the league-lead in points.
In the first period, the Caps scored three goals and Backstrom tallied two points (one goal, one assist). He registered career point number 700 on TJ Oshie’s opening salvo, which was also Oshie’s career point number 400.
When TJ Oshie dented the twine 14:18 into the third period, the 30-year-old winger put the Caps up 5-3. The goal marked Oshie’s 14th career two-goal game. It also pushed the Caps to an unheard of NHL milestone.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Washington Capitals became the second team in NHL history to score five-plus goals in ten straight home games. The only team who’s done it longer is the 1970-71 Bruins (11). That Bruins team featured three Hall of Fame skaters including Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr, and Johnny Bucyk. Think about that.
The Capitals delayed Sunday’s noon start against the Kings to hold a ceremony in honor of Alex Ovechkin’s 1,000th point, a goal scored on January 11 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was probably in honor of the 999 points before that too.
With his parents and wife, Alex Ovechkin watched as his teammates past and present shared their congratulations in a video tribute. Then, owner Ted Leonsis gifted Ovechkin a golden stick and the NHL’s Jim Gregory presented Alex Ovechkin with a Tiffany crystal, which will probably go in his bathroom.
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