Tag: Nicklas Backstrom

Buffalo Sabres v Washington Capitals

WATCH LIVE: Capitals at Sabres


On Sunday, the Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins in a battle to take control of the East’s top wild card spot. Now they hope to take care of business against the Buffalo Sabres, a team that would be better off losing.

Can Anders Lindback & Co. hold off Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and the rest of the Caps? Find out by watching on NBCSN and/or streaming the game via NBC Sports Live Extra.


Read more about the game in this preview.

NHL on NBCSN: Caps look to add to wild card lead

Winnipeg Jets v Washington Capitals

NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Buffalo Sabres host the Waahington Capitals at First Niagara Center at 7:00 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

The Washington Capitals regained the top wild card seed in the Eastern Conference with a 2-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Sunday night and will look to open a three-game road trip on a winning note tonight in Buffalo.

The Caps lead the Bruins by two points in the race for the first wild card spot, but Boston has a game in hand entering Monday’s action.

The Sabres have lost six straight (0-5-1) including a 6-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on March 7. The Sabres won the other meeting between the two clubs 2-1 in Washington on Nov. 22.

Buffalo has only eight non-shootout wins since beating the Capitals in November.

Tonight marks the third and final meeting between the two clubs this season.

Washington went 3-6-0 from Feb. 22-March 13, but following a players-only meeting after Friday night’s 4-2 loss to Dallas, saw an immediate result last night.

Nicklas Backstrom picked up a pair of assists in Sunday’s win and now leads the league with 53.

Alex Ovechkin, who has four goals in his last four trips to Buffalo, has failed to score in two straight games matching his longest drought since late December.

Braden Holtby has made 13 consecutive starts for the Capitals.

Washington recalled goaltender Philipp Grubauer from the AHL’s Hershey Bears on Sunday. Grubauer has made one appearance for the Caps this season making 23 saves in a 3-2 shootout victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 6.

Buffalo’s Matt Hackett has a 5.19 G.A.A. in two starts this season and allowed four goals against Washington on March 7.

Anders Lindback has a career-worst 3.36 G.A.A. this season, but has a .925 save percentage in five games since joining the Sabres.

Holtby blanks Bruins, Capitals grab East’s top wild card spot

Braden Holtby

Goaltending was a big reason why the Boston Bruins came into Sunday on a hot streak, but Braden Holtby showed that the Washington Capitals boast an outstanding netminder, too.

Holtby stopped all 32 Bruins shots as Washington won 2-0 tonight, securing the top wild card spot for the Capitals. They now have a two-point lead over Boston for that position and enjoy a healthy margin against the East’s bubble teams.

Holtby is impressing if you look at things from a short-term perspective:

… Yet he’s had a great season overall, too, as he now has eight shutouts and 33 wins in 2014-15.

Now, let’s not forget that Tuukka Rask was strong in his own right, as you can see most obviously from this sprawling stop:

Holtby obviously stole the show, though, as Washington’s two goals were clearly enough for the win. (Nicklas Backstrom collected two assists, setting a new Capitals franchise record for that stat.)

It wasn’t a perfect game in every way for the Capitals, as Alex Ovechkin experienced this, um, uncomfortable moment:

Still, he seems OK, and winning a big game probably helps to soothe that pain a bit.

Video: Backstrom sets Capitals assists record (for now?)

Nicklas Backstrom

Nicklas Backstrom earned the 419th assist of his already-impressive career on Sunday, setting a new Washington Capitals record … for now.

The helper came on a John Carlson power-play goal:

The really interesting is that Alex Ovechkin could easily pass him in this game.

Ovechkin, Backstrom and Michal Pivonka came into Sunday tied for the franchise mark with 418 assists. Pivonka obviously will be passed soon enough, but the two faces of the Capitals franchise will duke it out for that mark going forward.

To Nicklas Backstrom’s credit, he’s played more than 200 fewer games than Ovechkin. Considering their relationship (Backstrom is the Montana to Ovechkin’s Rice, if you will), one would assume that the slick Swede will finish with the assists mark while Ovechkin should finish with the Caps’ goals and points records.

Regardless, it really is another reminder that Backstrom should probably have an All-Star Game on his resume, right?

Update: Backstrom added a second assist to give himself 420 and helped Washington win 2-0 (more on that here).

Video: Rangers take over Metropolitan Division lead after defeating Capitals


The New York Rangers are surging, and serving notice to the rest of the Eastern Conference.

Playing for the second time in as many nights, and third time in four nights, the Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals by a final score of 3-1 on Wednesday’s Rivalry Night, with Martin St. Louis scoring the insurance goal on a pretty two-on-none passing play late in the third period.

After making it to last year’s Stanley Cup Final, the Rangers have now taken over top spot in the Metropolitan Division. They lead the New York Islanders by one point. As difficult as their schedule has been to start this month — games against Nashville, Detroit, Chicago, New York Islanders and Washington — the Rangers have won four of those five games.

Even with Henrik Lundqvist out since Feb. 2, and he still has yet to be medically cleared, the Rangers have succeeded, and the play of Cam Talbot has been a large reason as to why. With his team ahead of the Capitals by a goal early in the second period, and trying to kill off a five-on-three situation, Talbot made a spectacular glove save on Nicklas Backstrom.

Alex Ovechkin scored goal No. 45 on the season, getting the Capitals on the board during a first-period power play.

Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein headed down the tunnel at the Rangers bench with less than a minute remaining, and appeared to be favoring his shoulder.

Capitals winger Jay Beagle sustained upper-body injury, did not return and will be re-evaluated tomorrow, according to the Capitals’ public relations department.

Updated: The Rangers stated that Klein is having x-rays taken after blocking a shot late in the game, however there is no further update.