Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom will reach an incredible milestone Tuesday against the Calgary Flames. Ovechkin and Backstrom will become the first set of Capitals teammates and the ninth NHL duo of all time to play 1,000 games together.
Per the Capitals PR:
Tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames will mark the 1,000th game played with both Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom in the lineup. They will become the first set of Capitals teammates to play 1,000 games together in franchise history. Ovechkin and Backstrom will become the ninth set of teammates to accomplish this feat in NHL history. There is only one other active duo still playing on the same team with 1,000 games played together: Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown.
Backstrom has assisted on 274 of Ovechkin’s career goals (35.9% of total goals). Ovechkin has assisted on 106 of Backstrom’s career goals (40.5% of total goals). Additionally, Backstrom has assisted on 117 of Ovechkin’s NHL record 279 career power play goals (41.9%). The duo played their first game together on Oct. 5, 2007 against the Atlanta Thrashers, winning the game 3-1 with each player recording an assist. The Capitals hold a record of 590-299-110 with Ovechkin and Backstrom in the lineup.
The other teammates to reach the milestone, via NHL.com, include some of the biggest legends in NHL history: Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio (1,353 games with the Detroit Red Wings), the Sedin Twins (1,276 with the Vancouver Canucks), Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar (1,148 with the Los Angeles Kings), Nicklas Lidstrom and Kris Draper (1,107 with the Red Wings), Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook (1,069 with the Chicago Blackhawks), Bob Gainey and Larry Robinson (1,058 with the Montreal Canadiens), George Armstrong and Tim Horton (1,026 games the Toronto Maple Leafs), and Mark Messier and Kevin Lowe (1,007 with the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers).
“The organization has been fortunate to have two character people, high-skilled people who complement each other as well as these two do,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said. “Personality-wise. On and off the ice. Their skillsets are a perfect match for each other. Nick the playmaker. Nick’s more quiet and reserved. Ovi’s the opposite. Goal-scorer, more of a finisher, more extroverted. It’s been fun to watch those two do what they’ve done and 1000 games is a pretty incredible accomplishment for them, the organization, and the city.”
This Ovechkin and Backstrom commercial is great 😂
— BarDown (@BarDown) October 12, 2021
Ovechkin and Backstrom both have the opportunity to reach personal milestones in the game. Ovi (764) is two goals away from tying Jaromir Jagr (766) for third on the NHL’s all-time goals list. Backstrom is three points away from registering his 1,000th career point.
1️⃣,0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ games together for the @NHL's greatest duo!
Join us Tuesday at 8 p.m. for a special one-hour @Capitals Pregame Live featuring an exclusive interview with Alex Ovechkin & Nicklas Backstrom: https://t.co/Cj5RtmQDYV#ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/sWhQ8K8BFu
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 7, 2022
Ovechkin and Backstrom have been married to each other since Ovi selected Nicke in the 2006 NHL Draft in Vancouver — a role normally reserved for a team’s general manager.
Happy Draft Day babes!
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) June 21, 2019
“Yeah, it was pretty funny,” Ovechkin said of drafting Backstrom. “I was nervous and I knew right away we were going to draft Nicky, and George (McPhee) write me letter. It was fun, I was nervous. But that’s something I will never forget.
“You don’t want to make mistake, because if you make mistake basically you screwed up. Or you make a different name like Marcus Backstrom,” Ovechkin joked.
“I knew I was gonna go around somewhere like that, but obviously I was a little bit surprised when Ovi was up there and then all of a sudden he called my name,” Backstrom said. “I’ve seen that video afterward too, when you guys are talking at the table and stuff like that. So it was pretty cool to see it afterward I think. But overall, I think we both were nervous about it but seemed like it was a good pick by you.”
"Two guys that were I guess born for each other, that were made for each other." ❤️
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 8, 2022
Together as a unit, Ovechkin and Backstrom have authored strong Hockey Hall of Fame bids when they retire. Ovechkin leads the franchise in goals (764) and points (1388) while Backstrom leads in assists (738). Ovechkin scored most goals in the NHL and Backstrom had the most assists during the 2010’s. The duo won the Stanley Cup together in 2018. Ovechkin handed Backstrom the Stanley Cup after taking a twirl with it around the T-Mobile Arena ice.
“First training camp, he came up to me and kind of took me under his wing and the rest is history,” Backstrom said. “We’ve been here a long time. It’s been some fun years.
“As soon as he came to the team, I think we have pretty young team, all those young boys hang out together,” Ovechkin said. “We have some fun and we enjoy playing together.”
Here’s the full press release from the Capitals:
Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom Set to Play in 1,000th Career Game Together
ARLINGTON, Va. – Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and alternate captain Nicklas Backstrom are scheduled to play in their 1,000th career game together tonight when the Capitals play the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. The Capitals’ franchise leaders in goals and assists played their first game together on Oct. 5, 2007 against the Atlanta Thrashers, with each player recording an assist in the game.
Ovechkin and Backstrom – who became the first and second players, respectively, to play 1,000 games with the Capitals – will become the ninth set of teammates in NHL history to accomplish this feat. Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown are the only other active set of teammates to accomplish this feat (1,149 games). The Capitals will become the seventh franchise to have two teammates accomplish this feat with one team.
In their prior 999 games together, Ovechkin has 1,095 points (612g, 483a), while Backstrom has 958 points (251g, 707a). Backstrom has assisted on 274 of Ovechkin’s 764 goals (35.9%), more than double the amount of assists any other teammate of Ovechkin’s has recorded (John Carlson: 133 assists on 764 goals, 17.4%). Backstrom has additionally assisted on 117 of Ovechkin’s NHL record 279 power play goals. Ovechkin has assisted on 106 of Backstrom’s 262 goals (40.5%). The Capitals hold a record of 590-299-110 with Ovechkin and Backstrom in the lineup.
Ovechkin enters tonight’s game ranked fourth in the NHL in goals (34) and eighth in points (68). With 764 career goals, Ovechkin trails Jaromir Jagr (766g) by two goals for the third-most in NHL history. Ovechkin is additionally on pace for 98 points this season. Should he reach the mark, Ovechkin would become the third player in NHL history to record 98 points at the age of 36 or older, joining Gordie Howe (1968-69, aged 40, 103 points) and Joe Sakic (2006-07, aged 37, 100 points).
Backstrom is currently three points shy of 1,000 career points (262g, 735a). Backstrom will join Ovechkin as the only players in franchise history to reach the 1,000-point mark. Since Backstrom’s NHL debut on Oct. 5, 2007, he ranks fifth in the NHL in points and will become the fifth player to record 1,000 points during that span, joining Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane and Evgeni Malkin.
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