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Photo: @CapitalsPR

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom made it rain hats tonight. Nicky scored the first regular-season hat trick of his career and the Caps’ first natural hat trick since Alex Semin did it in 2010. Backstrom’s only other hatty came against the Habs in the 2010 playoffs (OMG DONT REMIND ME).

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Photo from before the game by @theunemployedmom

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom is one of the league’s best at distributing the puck. Playing against Tampa Bay on Tuesday, Backstrom authored one of his most brilliant passes ever. Or maybe it was a redirect. I’m not even sure what to call this; it was just subtle and awesome.

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Banged Up Alex Ovechkin Scores Two Power Play Goals (GIF)

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Photo credit: Mike Stobe

Coming into Wednesday, we didn’t know if Alex Ovechkin was going to be able to play, as he was dealing with an upper-body ailment after leaving practice on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, Ovi was ready after the morning skate. “Feel good,” Ovi said. “Just one part of my body didn’t feel great.”

Against the Isles, Ovi feel good indeed. While the team continued falling off the even-strength scoring cliff, Ovechkin kept the Caps in a game that looked like it was heading towards disaster early on.

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All This Happened, More or Less: Isles Beat Caps 3-2 (OT)

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Photo credit: Al Bello

“That is my principal objection to life, I think: It’s too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes.” – Kurt Vonnegut

For years, the Islanders have made that quote ring true. Confused ownership, terrible hockey and of course Nassau Colosseum. The old place will soon be gone from our TV screens. The smell, the lighting, the architecture, the scoreboard stolen from the local high school. So it goes.

Now, though, the Islanders are moving on. Pretty soon they’ll playing their games in a decedent building in Brooklyn. They’re also now good at hockey. The Caps had trouble with that tonight.

The first period was mostly dominated by the Isles. Anders Lee put them up top after John Carlson failed to cling to his man. Washington then released a small furry of shots before Alex Ovechkin got the Caps back in it with another one of them goals from the circle place when his team has more people on the ice. Travis Hamonic then gave New York the lead again when his high flying wrist shot made it past an effectively blindfolded Braden Holtby.

The second was mostly Isles, but the Caps came on towards the end. The Isles took another unnecessary penalty and Ovi did The Thing. 2-2.

Isles pressed in the third but there was nothing doing.

In the extra, scrapeless frame, Nicky grabbed someone’s stick. John Tavares threw his hands in the air. That’s all. Isles beat Caps 3-2 (OT).

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Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is the franchise leader in overtime game-winning goals with fifteen. And when he’s not winning games in sudden death, he’s assisting on the game-ending tallies.

Tonight, Ovechkin wound up to the moon and unleashed a gigantic slapshot from just inside the blue line. Canes goaltender Anton Khudobin made the initial save, but the shot was so heavy, it bounced off his pads right to Nicklas Backstrom. Nicky quickly shot at the yawning net, past a diving Khudobin.

Game over!

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Photo: Nick Wass

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has another record. With a primary assist on Nicklas Backstrom’s first period goal, the 29-year-old Ovechkin became the Caps’ all-time points leader (826).

Against the Coyotes on Sunday, Ovechkin tied Peter Bondra‘s mark of 825 after scoring a goal and three assists. Bonzai was in attendance in Ted Leonsis’s box Wednesday as The Great Eight broke his record in 270 fewer games.

“Congratulations to Alex Ovechkin on the outstanding achievement of becoming the leading scorer in Washington Capitals history,” said Wayne Gretzky through a Caps press release. “He’s a tremendous talent with many great years and achievements ahead of him.”

“You’re still the man, Bonzai,” Craig Laughlin said he texted Bondra during the second period.

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

This morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Barry Trotz took a hammer to the lines that have been so successful in the early part of the season. Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have been split up. The team’s second line, consisting of Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky, and Troy Brouwer, has been blown to smithereens as well.

The Capitals also made a roster move this morning, recalling Tom Wilson from AHL Hershey and demoting Chris Brown. Brooks Laich, who suffered what appeared to be a shoulder injury last week, did not skate with the team and will not play Wednesday. Trotz believes Laich may practice later in the week. Come on, baked goods, I thought you had magical healing powers!

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Photo: Geoff Burke

On Friday, the Washington Capitals got back to business, holding a practice at Calgary’s old Olympic stomping grounds. After the hour-long session was concluded, Nicklas Backstrom spoke to the media and was asked about Caps rookie Andre Burakovsky.

Through six games this season, the Burracuda is a point-per-game player, tallying six points and scoring two big goals. When Backstrom first began his North American career with the Caps, he tallied four points – all assists – in six games as a 19-year-old.

Nicky was asked about how he would compare himself to Andre at that age and it’s great stuff.

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Nicklas Backstrom Scores 500th Point (GIF)

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Playing the Atlanta Thrashers on October 5th, 2007, Nicklas Backstrom scored his first NHL point, an assist on Michael Nylander’s power-play goal. Five-hundred games and 2,570 days later, the 26-year-old Swedish center has scored his 500th career point, a power-play assist on a John Carlson goal.

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All Three Caps Swedes Scored Tonight (GIF)

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The Washington Capitals destroyed the New Jersey Devils 6-2 on Thursday, and they owe half of those goals to a country “where the moose is king, Pippi Longstocking is a hero and innovation rules.” ALL THREE SWEDES SCOARED. That’s worth a fancy photoshop and some fancy GIFs, amirite?

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