Nicklas Backstrom’s passing is unrivaled, but his shot ain’t too bad either.
22 seconds into overtime, the Capitals center unleashed a rocket on the powerplay to give the Capitals a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
Backstrom scored the goal on his former Capitals teammate Philipp Grubauer.
The Capitals drew a man advantage late in the game with 1:09 remaining. Forward Devante Smith-Pelly, who had scored earlier in the night, chugged his legs in the offensive zone, drawing a holding infraction on Ian Cole.
The Capitals couldn’t take advantage during regulation (5v4) but needed only one offensive sequence in OT (4v3) to go into the locker room victors.
Tom Wilson, who played a career-high 24:24, won a board battle and took a hit from Carl Soderberg. As the two players fell to the ice, Wilson slid the puck to Backstrom at the point, giving the Swedish forward a wide open lane to the net.
Backstrom dished to John Carlson, but the defenseman gave the puck right back. Nicky sniped the biscuit top cheese past Grubuaer’s outstretched blocker pad.
Alex Ovechkin, who was set up on the left wing ready for a one-timer, leaped into Backstrom’s arms after the goal.
“I used to struggle scoring on Grubi in practice so…” Backstrom said trailing off. “He was probably used to me passing too.”
Backstrom then flashed a wry smile.
“The other guy on the wall there with Tom,” Backstrom said. “Tom gave me a pass there. I was just trying to give it to John. I knew I was going to get it back.”
Backstrom ended the night with a goal and assist, taking the team in points with 22 (5g, 17a).
“It was a nice way to finish,” Backstrom said.
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