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The Noon Number: Santa's Little Helpers

A look at a trio of Caps' top-six forwards and a trio of their assists

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

512 - NHL rank for Alex Ovechkin, Troy Brouwer and Brooks Laich in even-strength assists with one apiece (in a combined 1,126:38 of even-strength ice time). By way of comparison, Tom Wilson has as many as the three combined (i.e. three) in 199:36 and Michael Latta as many in 107:02.

Ovechkin leads all NHL forwards in five-on-five minutes played with just one helper, and he, Brouwer and Laich are just three of seven forwards who have played more than 325 five-on-five minutes and compiled fewer than two assists (Adam Henrique, Marcel Goc, Jay McClement and Dany Heatley are the others). Lastly, all three of the Caps assists in question are secondary (a dozen forwards have played 325 five-on-five minutes without a primary assist), meaning that 28 games into the season, Ovechkin, Brouwer, Laich and Nicklas Backstrom - two-thirds of the Caps' opening night top-six, who have played a combined 107 man-games - have one five-on-five primary assist (Backstrom's beauty against St. Louis).

And because you're no doubt curious, here are Ovechkin's, Brouwer's and Laich's even-strength assists: