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Ovechkin takes a break during Tuesday's practice. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster)

Ovechkin takes a break during Tuesday’s practice. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster)

Backstrom answers questions at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Tuesday. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster)

The Caps sent five players to the Olympics. None of them accomplished their ultimate goal, and only one (Marcus Johansson) appears likely to come away with a medal.

The Sochi games were most disastrous for Washington’s two best players, Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin.

On Tuesday morning, Backstrom and Ovechkin talked to the DC media for the first time since their disappointments, holding successive press conferences at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

“It’s been a couple tough days,” Backstrom said at the start of a media availability that became combative at times. “I don’t wish no one to have to go through this. It’s not fun.”

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When Team Sweden came out to play for gold this morning, they did so without Nicklas Backstrom. We were told then he had a migraine, which has kept him out of games in the past before. Later we learned Backstrom was prohibited from playing because he tested positive for a higher-than-allowed level of pseudoephedrine, something that was in his allergy medication.

This morning at Kettler Capitals IcePlex, head coach Adam Oates — several days after defending Alex Ovechkin — went to the podium and did it again.

This time he took the IOC to task. There was some head shaking.

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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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Backstrom hug

Photo via gfhockey

Team Sweden survived a challenge from Latvia on Saturday, winning 5-3 to finish the preliminary round undefeated. But it wasn’t easy.

In the second period, Sweden actually trailed 2-1 until Nicklas Backstrom and Erik Karlsson connected on another power play goal.

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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: Jayne Kamin-Oncea

Team Sweden took on the Czech Republic in the first men’s hockey game of the Olympics. It was a total beatdown. Erik Karlsson, playing in his first Olympiad, scored two goals. Henrik Lundqvist had 27 saves in the win.

But what about the Caps, Ian? What about the Caps?

Nicklas Backstrom had a point in 15:15 of ice time. The marker came in the second period when Nicky assisted on Karlsson’s second goal of the night.

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Screenshot via Christoffer S.

Britt Bäckström, the 84-year-old grandmother of Nicklas Backstrom, gave a video interview earlier in the week to the small-town newspaper Östersundsposten later picked up by Aftonbladet. Her comments about her grandson are curious. “He’s gonna make a fool of himself [in Sochi],” Grandma Backstrom said, as translated by reader Magnus. “He’s been playing so bad. For a long time.”

Aaaaaaaaalright.

Here’s one newsworthy thing (according to RMNB’s somewhat loose definition) that happened in the interview: Grandma Britt shared this baby photo of Nicklas Backstrom’s daughter, Haley.

Britt says of Haley, “She looks so much like Nicklas when he was born.”

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Photo: Linda Forsell

Nicklas Backstrom is no stranger to Russian hockey. During the 2011 lockout, Backstrom put up 25 points in 19 games with Alex Ovechkin‘s Dynamo Moscow. Now back in Russia with Team Sweden for the Sochi Olympics, Backstrom will once again suit up for European hockey– but this time he’ll be playing against his BFF Ovi.

Nicky and Alex spoke with Henrik Sjöberg of Expressen about what it’ll be like to play against each other, and if Nick expects kid gloves from Alex should they collide on ice.

(No, he does not.)

And things got a little testy– in a playful way. Jake Ware has your translation.

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