Nicklas Backstrom will become the 356th player in NHL history to play in 1,000 games Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres. When the puck drops, the Swedish center will officially join Alex Ovechkin as the second player in franchise history to play in 1,000 games for the Capitals.
Wednesday, in anticipation of the big game, the Capitals announced several tributes they have planned to honor Backstrom on his milestone.
First, the team will wear special Backstrom tribute jerseys during warmups, similar to what the Penguins did for Sidney Crosby’s 1000th game earlier in the year.
The Capitals, who are rocking their navy blue third jerseys, will each have Backstrom’s number 19 on the back and his alternate captain A on the front. The jerseys will essentially make every player look like they are all Backstrom’s lorge Swedish sons.
Photos courtesy of @Capitals/Handbid
The jerseys will be auctioned off to the public via Handbid. You can preview all the jerseys and pucks here.
Our @Capitals #N1KY Auction honoring @backstrom19 presented by @LeidosInc opens April 15 at 6 p.m. EST. Proceeds benefit @kidpowerdc and the #Caps Capital Impact Fund. Preview the auction at https://t.co/1vhPw2oSS2 now! pic.twitter.com/XkOyV8rpHc
— MSE Foundation (@MSEFndn) April 14, 2021
The Capitals will also hold a pregame ceremony before the game, which will likely feature a special tribute video. Backstrom will receive a “special gift” from his teammates. Backstrom’s fiancé Liza and their kids Haley, Vince, and Alizee will be on the ice for the ceremony along with Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan.
More from the Capitals:
Backstrom to Play in His 1,000th Career NHL Game Tomorrow Versus Buffalo
ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals alternate captain Nicklas Backstrom is scheduled to play in his 1,000th career game tomorrow night against the Buffalo Sabres at Capital One Arena. Backstrom will become the second player in franchise history to play 1,000 games with the Capitals, joining teammate and captain Alex Ovechkin.
The Capitals will hold a pre-game ceremony prior to hosting the Sabres to honor Backstrom. The full ceremony, presented by Leidos, will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington and on Capitals Virtual Gameday at washcaps.com/virtualgameday. During the ceremony, Backstrom will receive a special gift from the organization and the Capitals players. Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan will join Backstrom’s fiancé Liza and their kids Haley, Vince and Alizee, on the ice for the ceremony.
Backstrom will become the second active player to reach the 1,000-game mark with at least 700 career assists (Sidney Crosby). Only 23 players in NHL history had at least 700 assists at the 1,000-game mark in their career. Of these 23 players, 21 are members of the Hockey Hall of Fame, while two are not yet eligible (Crosby and Jaromir Jagr). In addition, Backstrom will be the 69th player in NHL history and the 14th active player to play 1,000 career games with one team, and the first Capital to reach the 1,000-game mark in a Capitals sweater since Brooks Orpik on Jan. 14, 2019 against the St. Louis Blues.
Backstrom, who was selected by the Capitals fourth overall in the 2006 NHL Draft, will become the fourth player from his draft class to reach the 1,000-game mark. He ranks first in the 2006 draft class in both assists (714) and points (971). Backstrom will also become the 14th Swedish-born player to reach 1,000 career games.
The Capitals hold a record of 592-296-111 with Backstrom in the lineup since his NHL debut on Oct. 5, 2007. Backstrom has skated with 165 different teammates, played in 39 different venues and has played in front of 17,104,313 fans in his career.
Backstrom leads the Capitals with 44 points (14g, 30a) in 43 games this season and last game joined Patrick Kane and Anze Kopitar as the only players to record at least 30 assists in each of the last 14 seasons. Backstrom’s 1.02 points per game rate this season is his highest since 2016-17 (1.05 points per game) and the fifth-highest rate of his career. On March 5, 2021, against the Boston Bruins, Backstrom became the second fastest active player (Crosby: 856 games) and the 23rd fastest player in NHL history to reach the 700-assist mark in his 979th career game.
Backstrom entered this season as one of two active players and the 26th player all-time to record 50 assists in six straight seasons (Joe Thornton). Additionally, Backstrom entered this season as one of three players in the NHL to record at least 20 goals and 50 assists in four of the last five seasons (Kane and Connor McDavid). Since his NHL debut in 2007, Backstrom is the only player in the NHL to record at least 700 assists (714) during that span.
Tomorrow against the Sabres, the Capitals and Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation will host a special N1KY auction presented by Leidos featuring special Backstrom tribute jerseys worn by Capitals players during warmups. The auction opens at 6 p.m. on April 15 at WashCaps.com/N1kyAuction. Proceeds benefit So Kids Can 2020-21 beneficiary Kid Power, Inc. and the Washington Capitals Capital Impact Fund. Kid Power, Inc. inspires youth leadership by promoting academic advancement, physical and emotional wellness, and positive civic engagement in underserved communities throughout D.C. The Capital Impact Fund designates funds to organizations that can assist in eliminating cost barriers faced by local hockey players, from youth to elite players.
Headline photo of puck and jersey courtesy of the @Capitals
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