Nicklas Backstrom was already the Washington Capitals’ franchise leader in assists. On Saturday, Nicky registered his 500th career apple, making him the second-fastest Swede and the 139th player of all-time to reach that threshold (68 of those players are in the Hall of Fame).
The enormity of the moment was not lost on his teammates. After Oshie one-timed Backstrom’s pass into back of the net, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin celebrated, raising his arms with glee. As he approached his teammates’ goal hug, Ovechkin suddenly remembered Backstrom’s milestone and picked up the puck.
We know this because we found footage of that fateful moment from the overhead goal cam.
Ovechkin actually reached his stick behind goaltender Mike Condon to fetch the puck out of his pads.
He then found Backstrom in the corner and gave him a mondo hug. Ovechkin spent ten seconds telling the Swede how proud of him he was.
The first-line trio was giddy on the bench.
After the game, Ovechkin spoke glowingly about his teammate’s accomplishment.
“Well it’s pretty impressive,” Ovechkin said. “I was a part of it since Day One. It’s nice to be around his personality.”
On Instagram, Ovechkin also published a picture with Backstrom and called him his brother.
“Congrats to my brother @nicke19 on reaching 500 assists!u the best👍,” Ovechkin said.
But just remember. That precious picture would not have been possible, if Ovi didn’t remember to pick up the puck in the first place.
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