Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom are one of the best tandems in the NHL. And Friday against the New Jersey Devils, the longtime teammates will play their 900th career game together.
“I actually had no idea 900 was coming up. It’s pretty… it’s a long time,” a smiling Nicklas Backstrom said Thursday after Capitals practice.
CAPS TODAY: Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom are expected to suit up for their 900th game together on Friday against the New Jersey Devils. More info on the duo at https://t.co/HecIC0ECg1 pic.twitter.com/qUODPRoem5
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) December 18, 2019
The Capitals’ PR team wrote about some of the accomplishments together. One amazing statistic is that Backstrom has assisted on 254 of Alex Ovechkin’s 679 career goals (37.4%).
On Friday against the New Jersey Devils, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom are expected to play in their 900th regular season game together. The duo has led the Caps to a record of 534-262-103 – good for a .651 point percentage – which is equivalent to 107 standings points over an 82-game season. In games together, Ovechkin has 997 points (548g, 449a), while Backstrom has 869 points (229g, 641a). Since Backstrom’s NHL debut on Oct. 5, 2007, against the Atlanta Thrashers – where each recorded an assist in the game – Backstrom has assisted on 254 of Ovechkin’s career goals, more than double any other teammate in Ovechkin’s career (John Carlson: second with 104 assists).
After practice, both players dished about milestone game.
— Washington ☃️ Capitals (@Capitals) December 19, 2019
“It’s nice to be with that guy in the same team so many years,” Ovechkin said. “I think you can ask anybody in this locker room or previous guys that played, he’s first of all, a tremendous person, unbelievable center. To be around him and see how he’s growing up, how he’s matured, is great.”
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) December 19, 2019
“We’re good friends and have been playing together for a long time,” Backstrom said. “But the most important thing is we got a championship together. We’ve been through a lot.”
The two players have been linked since the 2006 NHL Draft when Ovi announced the Capitals selection of the Swedish center.
Happy Draft Day babes!
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) June 21, 2019
“I was not expecting a lot when I first got drafted,” Backstrom said. “Ever since it’s been a journey. To be able to play with one of the greatest goal scorers ever, it’s very fortunate.”
Backstrom also joked about why he thought the two had such great chemistry together.
“Usually, he yells for the puck so that’s why,” Backstrom said beaming. “Why we been working so good together maybe because I’m more a passer and he’s a pure goal scorer I think, so I think that’s why it worked out so good. I think we [have] a great connection off the ice too. I think that helps too. When you’re tight together, with friendship, I think it helps so we can high expectations of each other on the ice which has helped during our careers.
“We both have families now but at the same time, every time we hang out, it’s like the first time we met,” Backstrom said adorably. “We’re always having fun together, which is a great thing I think, which we’re going to keep enjoying as long as we’re together.”
Backstrom is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end while Ovechkin will become one the summer of 2021.
Headline photo: NBC Sports Washington
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