This photo is my everything. (Photo: Patrick Smith)

Caps first-line center Nicklas Backstrom is set to play in his first All-Star Game after years of being an NHL afterthought. The shy Swede has spent the last nine years in the shadow of his more outgoing, future Hall Of Fame line-mate, Alex Ovechkin. Backstrom does not crave the media attention or accolades that comes with being a NHL star even though it’s universally agreed he is one.

Sunday, Backstrom will be introduced on a national stage, taking the ice along with two of his teammates and the rest of the league’s best players. But if anyone thinks Backstrom will change who he is because of the experience, they’d be wrong.

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What Caps Players Did During the DC Blizzard


Photo: @Kuzya92

Over the last two days, the DC Blizzard dropped two feet of snow in the district and three feet in surrounding areas. The snow forced the cancellation of both Caps’ home games this weekend including tilts against the Ducks and Penguins. That leaves the Caps in a really weird stretch, where they’ll only play one game in 14 days.

Without hockey, the players spent time with their families and messing around on social media. I went ahead and documented it all.

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Don’t put the Capitals on the power play. I thought that was clear by now, but the Columbus Blue Jackets did it anyway. Worse: with Justin Falk’s bloody high stick on Marcus Johansson, Washington got a super-sized, 4-minute man advantage.

The Caps scored twice. Evgeny Kuznetsov got the primary assist on both. (This team, jeez.)

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Photo: Alex Brandon

This seemed worth documenting. Via’s Scott Cullen, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom are the highest scoring center tandem in the league.

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Photo: Jacquelyn Martin

Alex Ovechkin had a milestone night on Sunday in front of a home crowd and his friends and family. Ovechkin struck twice in Washington’s 7-1 trouncing of the Ottawa Senators, recording career goals 500 and 501 in thrilling fashion. The drama was not lost on Ovechkin, his teammates, or his head coach. Here’s some of what they said after the game.

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NHL: Washington Capitals at New York Rangers

Photo: Adam Hunger

Alex Ovechkin will be remembered as the hero of this Caps-Rangers game. Scoring in overtime, Ovechkin skated past six-time all star Rick Nash and beat one of the best goalies in the game, Henrik Lundqvist, in the slot. His exuberant, clumsy celebration was the stuff of legend.

But without Nicklas Backstrom, the Capitals would have never pushed the game to overtime in the first place.

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Alex Ovechkin has so much joy when he plays hockey. It’s one reason why people root for him. Every time he scores, he celebrates like it’s his first NHL goal. Every time the Caps win, there’s no one happier on the bench or on the ice.

Over the last few years though, Ovechkin has found even more joy celebrating his teammates’ accomplishments. On Wednesday, Ovechkin interrupted Nicklas Backstrom’s press conference to make a special announcement.

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Photo: Washington Capitals

Earlier today, Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby were named to the 2016 All-Star Game roster, joining Alex Ovechkin, who was named Metropolitan Division Captain last weekend. This marks the first time since 1985 that the Capitals have had 3 players appointed to the All-Star Game at once.

The team was quick to react to the NHL’s choices. Nicklas has long been considered by Caps fans as All-Star material, but this will be his first time attending the All-Star game. His reaction was priceless.

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Our long national nightmare is over. After eight seasons of being ignored, Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom has finally been recognized as what he is: an all star and one of the game’s best players.

On Wednesday, the NHL announced that Backstrom along with goaltender Braden Holtby and head coach Barry Trotz will be joining Alex Ovechkin in Nashville for this year’s three-on-three tournament thing. Holtby hasn’t lost in regulation since December 10, 2015, while Trotz has led the Capitals to the league’s best record.

This will be both Holtby’s and Backstrom’s first all-star game appearance. Backstrom’s first nomination comes in his ninth season pro. Meanwhile, Trotz will coach the Metropolitan Division all stars.

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Last November, former Swedish Idol judge and hockey/media guy Daniel Breitholtz did a bit where Nicklas Backstrom literally tattooed his arm at a DC tattoo parlor for a video on Aftonbladet, Sweden’s biggest newspaper. For their next trick, Backstrom and Breitholtz teamed up to mess with Caps’ Swedes Marcus Johansson and Andre Burakovsky.

The prank was pretty basic. Host Daniel Breitholtz is supposed to conduct a serious interview with Johansson and Burakovsky. But what they don’t know is Breitholtz is getting all of the questions from Caps center Nicklas Backstrom through his earpiece. Once Marcus is let in on the prank, they team up to continue the fun against a very confused Burakovsky.

There’s a reference to Swedes on bikes.

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