Nicklas Backstrom’s Tic-Tac-Toe Goal (GIF)

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On Tuesday The Washington Capitals dominated the Los Angeles Kings both physically and on the scoreboard. But Washington’s aggressive play didn’t obscure their finesse, which was on display in the third period when the Kings surrendered the puck behind their net.

On that play, the Capitals looked like the Harlem Globetrotters.

The Kings, for their part, looked more like the 2008 Atlanta Thrashers than the defending Cup champions.

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Nicklas Backstrom’s 400th Career Assist (GIFs)

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Nicklas Backstrom finally got number 400. His 400th career assist came late in the second period, a quick response to Ryan Johansen’s goal just 33 seconds earlier.

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RMNB reader Bridget L. took her three-year-old son Max to the Caps’ morning skate on Wednesday. The mother and son sat in the first row and watched as the team readied itself for the rival Flyers that night.

Amazed by what he saw, Max could not stay seated. He stood up at the glass near star center Nicklas Backstrom. Bridget thought it was a good time for a photo op, so Max grinned as wide as he could while mom snapped away.

A few seconds later, something adorable happened.

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Six-foot, four-inch behemoth Tom Wilson has racked up some huge hits in his two-year career. but it’s been those body checks that knock over multiple guys at once that I’ve loved the most. Remember his triple-check of the Columbus Blue Jackets or this shellacking of a Blues player and Matt Niskanen in St. Louis?

On Saturday, Wilson checked one of his own teammates again, this time Nicklas Backstrom, while trying to destroy Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith.

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Trotz Family

Following their sun-splashed practice at Nationals Park on Wednesday, the Washington Capitals stayed on the ice for an informal skate around the outdoor rink, joined by their friends and family — and there were plenty of them. Michael Latta got around 50 tickets for his guests, though he’s not the Capitals leader. According to Latta, John Carlson asked for even more. While the media was ushered away from the rink during the skate, NHL Network cameras and the Caps Twitter account captured some of the heartwarming moments.

These guys are adorable.

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In episode one of The Road To The Winter Classic, Tom Wilson and Michael Latta revealed that they are protective of their on-ice dad, Nicklas Backstrom. In episode two, Backstrom showed a rare glimpse of his life away from the rink, where he is actually a dad. The segments featured Backstrom’s daughter, Haley.

After returning home from New Jersey, Backstrom and girlfriend Liza took their one-year-old daughter to the park. “We were just on a road trip for six days,” Backstrom said. “You’re kind of like, ‘I wonder if she recognize me now?'”

The Swedish dad pushed Haley on a swing and rode down the slide with her. It’s adorable.

“It’s one thing to have a good group of guys on a team,” Backstrom said. “We’re all family, but it’s awesome to come home from games and enjoy her.”

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In episode one of The Road To The Winter Classic, EPIX brought us into the luxury apartment of Caps forwards Tom Wilson and Michael Latta. It was the best segment of the night– probably because their apartment wasn’t so luxurious as we might have thought.

Not-Liev Schreiber described the design of Wilson and Latta’s bachelor pad as somewhere between “minimalist and utilitarian.” If your ping pong table is also your dinner table, that’s pretty accurate.

“I roast him on it a lot,” Wilson joked.

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Tonight at 10 PM, the first episode of EPIX’s Road To The Winter Classic will air online featuring (hopefully) organic, not-at-all-contrived coverage of the team we love (also the Chicago Blackhawks). I admit I’m super excited for all the right reasons (pageviews!). Some old RMNB footage might even make a short cameo on the show.

EPIX has posted exclusive photos, featuring some fantastic portraits of Caps stars.

I have a feeling at least half of you are going to be very excited to continue scrolling. I even included a few GIFs and a video too.

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BackstromLockerRoomHats (3 of 7)

Photos by Chris Gordon.

Nicklas Backstrom is a quiet Swedish assist machine. He sits in the background, setting up Ovi and racking up points. He’s a bit shy, often speaking to reporters siting down and speaking in a soft tone. He’s not underrated. People know Backstrom is good, but he’s just doesn’t flout it at all. That’s why he’s not one of the league’s most recognizable stars, despite the skill and stats to back it up.

But we Caps fans know how good he is. Tonight, Backstrom put on a grand Saturday night production. After not scoring in almost a month, Backstrom registered a natural hat trick, his first three goal game since 2010, as the Caps beat the Bolts 4-2.

There was a present waiting for him after the game. Upon entering the Capitals locker room, Backstrom found his locker filled with the hats thrown on the ice by fans.

“I don’t know who the f—k was doing that,” Backstrom told me. “Someone surprised me.”

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Photo: Caps Instagram

Nicklas Backstrom scored a natural hat trick on Saturday night, which meant Caps fans got a chance to throw their favorite hats onto the ice.

But not everything they threw were hats.

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