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The Noon Number: Back on Top?

A look at the Caps’ top pivot’s big year against a familiar foe

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

12 - Points (four goals, eight assists) for Nicklas Backstrom in four regular-season games against the Penguins in 2016-17. That ties Mike Ridley’s franchise mark for most points against Pittsburgh in a campaign, a total Ridley racked up in 1988-89... in seven games.

Backstrom posted a five-point game in the Caps’ 7-1 win over the Pens in mid-November and a four-pointer in their 5-2 January victory (but “only” posted three points in the Caps’ two post-regulation losses).

And, because you’re wondering, Backstrom would set the franchise single-season (combining regular season and playoffs) record for points against Pittsburgh with a mere ten points - Mike Ridley piled up 22 points in 1991-92 (three goals, eight assists in seven regular-season games, then 11 assists in seven playoff games). Hopefully for Backstrom, his season against the Flightless Fowl ends better than Ridley’s did - his Caps blew a 3-1 series lead that year.