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Backstrom thinking about 'everything' entering 1,000th game originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Capitals star Nicklas Backstrom will take the ice on Thursday night for the 1,000th time in a Washington sweater, a feat only his longtime teammate Alex Ovechkin has accomplished in franchise history.
Ahead of the Capitals matchup with the Sabers on Thursday (coverage begins at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington), the team will show a tribute video pregame celebrating Backstrom on the jumbotron. Additionally, all of his Capitals teammates will wear No. 19 sweaters during warm-ups to honor the 33-year-old's remarkable accomplishment.
With an emotional night ahead of Backstrom, the 33-year-old told The Sports Junkies on Thursday that there's a chance he might shed some tears ahead of puck drop.
"I'm more emotional as a guy now after having kids than I was when I was younger," Backstrom said. "I feel like there's a good chance, yes. I think they'll at least be some water in my eyes."
From his early days as a Capital to winning the Stanley Cup, Backstrom said he will be thinking about "a little bit of everything" when watching the tribute video dedicated to him.
"Honestly, what's going through my mind is all the teammates you've played with," Backstrom said. "Everything is going to go through my mind I think and I'm sure that video is going to present that, too."
While fans are still not permitted to attend home games at Capital One Arena until later this month, Backstrom is thankful that his family will be in the building to support him on his special night.
"I know we're in a pandemic here, but it's gonna be really important for me that my family is going to be there by my side," Backstrom said. "It kind of sucks that the fans aren't going to be there but at the same time, I know they are going to be watching."
Although Backstrom is hitting the 1,000-game mark, the forward is still only 33 years old and has plenty of hockey in front of him. Washington has No. 19 under contract through the 2024-25 season, too, after the two sides agreed to an extension last year, one Backstrom negotiated himself.
Asked if he envisions himself playing into his mid-40s, the way his new teammate Zdeno Chara has, Backstrom said "it's impossible to answer that." But, Backstrom also has no plans of hanging up the skates anytime soon, either.
"I'm going to do everything in my power to play as long as I can," Backstrom said. "I love this game and I want to be part of this for many more years."
For more interviews, tune into the Sports Junkies on NBC Sports Washington, weekdays from 6-10 a.m.