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The Noon Countdown: A Helping Hand

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A look at how Nicklas Backstrom stirs the drink on the power play

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

27 - Number of days remaining until the 2016-17 season. But it's also...

...the number of power-play assists earned by Nicklas Backstrom last season, tops in the League. Backstrom accumulated 30 points with the extra man, which was third among NHL forwards and fourth in the League overall despite the fact that it marked his lowest power-play production in a "full" season since 2011-12 when injuries shortened his campaign to just 42 games.

Somewhat surprisingly, the bulk of Backstrom's power-play helpers were on goals scored by someone other than Alex Ovechkin - only 10 of his 27 assists (37%) were on Ovechkin goals, the lowest percentage since picking up just four of 16 power-play assists (25%) that way back in 2011-12.