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The Noon Number

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A look at Nicklas Backstrom's passing proficiency, and the company he keeps.

(Photo by Clyde Caplan/

5 - Number of players who recorded more three-assist regular-season games before their 26th birthdays than Nicklas Backstrom has (who currently leads the League in helpers).

Last night, Backstrom tied Evgeni Malkin on this list with 22 such games, leaving only Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby, Jaromir Jagr, Peter Forsberg, and Craig Janney ahead of him. Backstrom has until November 23rd, when he turns 26, to keep climbing up the list.

Elias has more on Backstrom's big (but amazingly common, for him) night:

Nicklas Backstrom assisted on all three of the Capitals' second-period goals in their 4-2 win against the Oilers. It was the sixth time that Backstrom recorded three assists in one period in his seven-season NHL career. That's two more three-assist periods than any other NHL player has registered since Backstrom entered the league in October 2007. Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux and Henrik Sedin have each done that four times since then.

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