Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom? 900 games together. The New Jersey Devils? Taylor Hall-less. Let’s dance.
Here’s Friday night’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom playing in their 900th game as teammates? Cool, cool cool cool cool cool.
Minus: Miles Wood challenged Nick Jensen to a “fight” in the third period, and it went...not well for Jensen. Laughably not well.
And now, congrats on 900 points, Backstrom!
Ten more notes on the game:
1. Jonas Siegenthaler was called for hooking early in the first, and Kyle Palmieri made him pay for it with his 14th goal of the season at the four-minute mark. P.K. Subban got the secondary assist, which, fun fact, was his first point in 21 games.
2. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Backstrom to Ovechkin score! That’s right, in their 900th game together, the dynamic duo got the Caps on the board. It was, in true 8-19 fashion, a beautiful pass that led to a beautiful goal. Alex Ovechkin now has 22 goals on the season and 16 away from Capital One Arena, the most in the league.
3. The 900 Club? Back at it again! This time it was Nicklas Backstrom finding the back of the net after redirecting a John Carlson shot. With 25 seconds left in the period, Backstrom gave the Caps the 2-1 lead.
4. The Devils got one back 4:15 into the second period after Blake Coleman managed to slip the puck past Ilya Samsonov. It looked like there was some questionable contact in the crease, but it was just Backstrom throwing his weight around and accidentally running into his own goalie. In the words of the wise Hannah Montana, everybody makes mistakes.
5. One goal was not enough for Nicklas Backstrom! He scored his second of the night during some four-on-four hockey after a beautiful give-and-go with Dmitry Orlov. Orlov completely fooled the entire Devils squad and slid the puck over to Backstrom. Also assisting on this goal? Who else but Alex Ovechkin, who celebrated like it was his own goal. 8-18 times two!
6. The Capitals made it 4-2 less than a minute into the third period with John Carlson and Michal Kempny, two wannabe-forwards, collapsing in on the net down low. The most important thing about this goal, though? That’s 900 career points for Nicklas Backstrom! It’s also his 23rd career four-point game. How Swede it is...
7. Jonas Siegenthaler goal alert! His second of the season! It was an absolute bullet of a shot, perfectly placed in the top corner of the net. Out of all of Washington’s goals tonight, this one was definitely the prettiest. A highlight from this goal? Carlson’s huge smile on the bench.
8. Third line goal? Third line goal! Sound the alarm! Stop the presses! Richard Panik scored his third goal of the season on Gilles Senn, who entered the game in the third period to make his NHL debut in relief of MacKenzie Blackwood. Fun fact: Panik now has goals against 29 NHL teams.
9. Miles Wood just had to add another goal for the Devils, making it 6-3 with 23 seconds to go. Ugh.
10. On Ovechkin and Backstrom’s big night, Ilya Samsonov also had a stellar performance. He made 24 saves on 27 shots, including some highlight reel robberies that helped keep the Caps in the game early on. He now has a 9-2-1 record on the season, no biggie.
Washington is 13-1-2 in their last 15 games against New Jersey. Up next for the Caps: they’ll be rocking the red again at home tomorrow night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.