In the 900th game for Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom together, Backstrom fittingly took over the game with a four-point night to lead the Capitals to a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils.
Here is how Washington won.
Ovechkin and Backstrom take over at the end of the 1st
Washington had the better of the play in the first, but as the clocked ticked near the end of the period, they found themselves down 1-0. That's when the Ovechkin-Backstrom magic started.
Backstrom skated the puck into the offensive zone and just handed it off to Ovechkin. The Caps were in ahead of New Jersey's backcheckers and Backstrom kept pushing forward meaning the defensemen couldn't step up on Ovechkin. What happened next is exactly what you would expect to happen when Ovechkin has room to shoot in the offensive zone. He wristed a blistering shot past Mackenzie Blackwood to tie the game at one.
Seventy seconds later, Backstrom deflected in a John Carlson floater from the blue line.
New Jersey thought it was taking a 1-0 lead into the locker room. Suddenly the Devils found themselves down 2-1.
Things got a bit physical in the second period. In a board battle, Wayne Simmonds knocked down Garnet Hathaway and landed on top of him. Hathaway landed on top of Miles Wood who took exception. Then he and Hathaway began engaging with each other while Simmonds just parked himself on top of Hathaway.
You would think the Caps would get a power play from this exchange, but instead matching minors were issued.
This resulted in matching minors. pic.twitter.com/2MhLcuS9vP— JJ Regan (@JJReganNBCS) December 21, 2019
While Washington did not get much help from the refs, they took matters into their own hands as the Caps scored twice during the 4-on-4 to take a 4-2 lead.
The 4-on-4 stretched from the second period into the third. Backstrom scored near the end of the second period as he went low to high for Dmitry Orlov who looked like he was going to shoot, but instead returned it to Backstrom who chipped it past a helpless Blackwood.
Less than a minute into the third period, Backstrom again got on the scoresheet as passed to Michal Kempny who was up in the offensive zone. Kempny took the puck to the corner drawing two Devils with him and Carlson was left all alone in front of the net for the easy goal off the Kempny pass.
Two knockout punches
Up 4-2, a bad Devils team that just traded away its best offensive player in Taylor Hall was not likely going to be able to mount a comeback. Having said that, the Caps still added a pair of insurance tallies later in the third with Jonas Siegenthaler sending a long-distance shot into the top corner and Richard Panik scoring his third goal of the season to make it 6-2. Wood would score in the final minute of the game in garbage time.
In his 900th game with Ovechkin, it was fitting that Backstrom had a big night. He was easily the player of the game with four points (two goals, two assists) on the night.
Backstrom's fourth point, an assist on Carlson's goal, was also his 900th career point.
So yes, in his 900th game with Ovechkin, Backstrom assisted Ovechkin on Washington's first goal, recorded four points including the 900th point of his career.
That is one hell of a night.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.
MORE CAPITALS NEWS:
- 900 Games: Backstrom and Ovechkin approaching milestone
- Reduced: Ice time for third line
- Mailbag: Caps biggest weaknesses?
Backstrom puts on a show in his 900th game with Ovechkin originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington