3 - Number of assists earned by Nicklas Backstrom in last night’s win, giving him career helper #599, 600, and 601 and fittingly enough given the venue, pushing him past Henrik Sedin for the most assists since the start of the 2007-08 season.
Backstrom becomes the first player from the 2006 draft class to hit the milestone (and will likely be the only one hitting it anytime soon, as he leads second-place Claude Giroux by a significant margin) - and he did so with pretty impressive efficiency:
Nicklas Backstrom has become the 27th player in NHL history to reach the 600 assist mark in fewer than 850 games (823 for Backstrom). Additionally, he is the second-fastest Swedish born player to reach the mark (Peter Forsberg: 670 games).— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) October 23, 2018
Not surprisingly, a significant portion of Backstrom’s helpers have been earned on Alex Ovechkin goals; 234 of those 601 assists, in fact, set up goals by the Caps’ captain - including two of his three (and fittingly the milestone assist itself) last night. Ovechkin joins 51 other players lucky enough to be set up by Backstrom over the years, but only two others - T.J. Oshie and Alexander Semin - have scored at least 40 times off of Backstrom helpers.
Equally unsurprising is the fact that 272 of his assists have been earned on the power play - again, including #600 - which is the highest power-play assist total of any player since Backstrom’s rookie season, and he’s picked up multiple assists in a League-best 141 games over that span.
So basically what we’re saying is... he’s damn good. Congrats to Backstrom on yet another impressive milestone in an already impressive career!