Tag: Nicklas Backstrom

Video: Talbot denies Backstrom with spectacular glove save


The Washington Capitals appeared to have a sure goal, which would’ve tied Wednesday’s rivalry night game against the New York Rangers just 55 seconds into the second period.

The Capitals were on a five-on-three power play. Nicklas Backstrom, who is approaching 20 goals this season and tied for second in the league in points coming into the game, had the puck on his stick. And he had plenty of net to shoot for. Only problem was Rangers goalie Cam Talbot was able to get across the crease just enough to throw out the glove and absolutely rob Backstrom.

The play was briefly reviewed, but there was no goal on the play.

Get your game notes: Rangers at Caps

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 8: Derek Stepan #21 of the New York Rangers celebrates his third period goal against the Washington Capitals in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 8, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)

Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Washington Capitals hosting the New York Rangers on Rivalry Night at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:


• At a glance in the Metro: No division has less separation between its top 4 teams than the Metropolitan. After the Rangers 2-1 win at NYI last night, NYR can take sole possession of the division – and Eastern Conference – lead tonight with a win. In addition, with a win AND an ANA regulation loss, the Rangers would become 1st in the NHL. WSH has a 4-point lead on #2WC BOS, but PIT is also within reach for 3rd in the division.

• In addition, WSH and NYR have 3 matchups remaining this season (including tonight).

• Winning with Cam: When Henrik Lundqvist began to miss time starting on Feb. 4 (though injured initially on Jan. 31), the Rangers’ 2 goalies had a combined 32 games of NHL experience– all from backup Cam Talbot. After last night’s win vs. NYI, the team is now 12-2-3 in King Henrik’s absence.

• Talbot has started 16 of those 17 total Ranger games, including his current run of 8 straight, putting up very impressive numbers in that stretch:

• Talbot stopped 29 of 30 shots last night. He has only started games on back-to-back days once in this stretch with Lundqvist out. He allowed 3 goals each against NSH and DAL last month, posting an 0-1-1 record in those games.

• There is still no concrete update on Lundqvist’s status other than him
continuing to skate and work out on his own.

• Caps coming off big win: This is the 3rd of a 5 game home stand for WSH (1-1-0 record), though the Caps enter tonight after a 3-day break between games. WSH is coming off its most lopsided victory of the season – a 6-1 defeat of BUF on Sat. They have now won 3 of their 4 gms in March after closing out Feb. with 3 straight losses.

• The Caps set season-bests for shots on goal (45), shots against (17), and margin of victory (5) while going 2-for-3 on the PP and a perfect 3-for-3 on the PK against the Sabres. Coach Barry Trotz gave the team two days off following the win. He also indicated that the break could help the Caps gear up for the stretch run and improve their position in the Metro: “There’s teams that are chasing us a little bit…so we’re not out of the woods there…But our focus has to be, when we come back, let’s look at the teams that we could catch now and see if we can jump over a couple of them. I think there’s enough time and I think we’re a good enough team to do that.” – Trotz, following the win vs. BUF

• Ovechkin and Nash: This game will feature the top 2 goal scorers in the NHL. Alex Ovechkin (44 goals) is the 2-time defending Rocket Richard Trophy winner (4-time winner overall), while Rick Nash (39 goals) took home his only goal-scoring title in 2003-04 (scored a career-high 41 goals, shared award w/ 2 others).

• In the only prior meeting this season between WSH and NYR (at MSG), Nash had a hat trick and Ovechkin scored a PPG in NYR’s 4-2 win.


• Rick Nash scored the game-winning goal vs. NYI last night (also assisted on NYR’s first goal). He leads the NHL in even-strength goals (30), is t-1st in short-handed goals (4), and is t-2nd in game-winning goals (8).

• Nash is 1 goal away from his 3rd career 40-goal season. His previous 2 were both w/ CBJ: 40 in 2008-09 and a career-high 41 in 2003-04 when he won the Rocket Richard Trophy (shared w/ Ilya Kovalchuk and Jarome Iginla).

• Derick Brassard (also a CBJ 1st-round pick – 6th overall in 2006) centers Rick Nash on the top line. Since the beginning of February, Brassard has made in impact with 17 points (2G-15A) in 18 games.

• Trade deadline acquisition Keith Yandle was Arizona’s leading scorer (41 pts) before the trade. In four games for the Rangers, Yandle has 0 points in 19:03 TOI.

• Yandle has not yet sparked the Rangers 14th-ranked power play (18.3%) as hoped. Since the trade, the team is 1-for-10 on the PP.

• Mats Zuccarello has responded well since agreeing to a 4-yr/18M extension last week. He has assists in all 4 games since (5 total), including the primary helper on Kevin Hayes’ game-tying goal last night.

• On Sunday, Hayes played at United Center for the first time. The 22-year-old was a 1st-round pick (24th overall) by Chicago in 2010, but he did not sign with the Hawks and instead played 4 years at Boston College. Hayes signed with the Rangers over the summer. Then, yesterday, Hayes continued his strong rookie season with an impressive individual effort to tie the game at 1 – his 13th goal of the season.


• The Caps have at least 1 power play goal in all 4 March games so far (5-for-8 overall). The team ranks 2nd in the NHL overall with a 24.9% success rate. Alex Ovechkin leads the league with 20 power play goals.

• The Capitals acquired Curtis Glencross from Calgary for a 2015 2nd and 3rd-round pick at the trade deadline. Glencross has been an immediate fit on a line with Jay Beagle and Troy Brouwer, in addition to getting time on the PP.

• Glencross had 3 points (1G-2A) vs. BUF, his first 3-point game since March 22 of last season.

• He now has 4 points (2G-2A) in the 3 games since being traded.

• “I was excited for the new challenge.” – Glencross, on coming to WSH

• Alex Ovechkin (44 goals) & Nicklas Backstrom (51 assists) lead the league in those respective categories. They are also t-2nd in the league with 69 points (John Tavares leads w/ 72).

• With 2 assists vs. BUF, Backstrom tied Michal Pivonka on the franchise’s all-time assists list with 418. Ovi is 3rd (417).

• No two teammates have more points this season than Ovechkin & Backstrom (138).

• The last time two teammates finished 1-2 in the scoring race in a full season was in 1995-96, when Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr (PIT), accomplished the feat (Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis were 1-2 in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season for TB).

• Ovi is the frontrunner for a 5th Rocket Richard Trophy – and 3rd straight. 6 players have won the NHL’s goal-scoring title 5+ times. 6 players have also won 3+ consecutive titles (most recent: Brett Hull 1990-92).

• Caps injuries: D Mike Green (upper-body) was held out of practice Tuesday. He is day-to-day and will be evaluated after the morning skate. WSH recalled D Nate Schmidt from Hershey (AHL) on an emergency basis.

• D Brooks Orpik (lower-body) left practice early yesterday and will also be a game-time decision.

• Braden Holtby made 16 saves on 17 shots against Buffalo. Overall, he is ranked near the top of 5 major goaltending categories:

• He has started the Caps’ last 10 games.

• vs. NYR: Holtby allowed 4 goals in the December meeting vs. the Rangers (4-2 loss).

NHL on NBCSN: Capitals face Rangers, who aim to take Metro’s top spot

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers

NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Washington Capitals host the New York Rangers at Verizon Center at 8:00 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

Even with some bumps and bruises, one would think that the Washington Capitals carry some advantages into Wednesday’s game against the New York Rangers.

The Rangers are coming off a 2-1 win versus the New York Islanders as they sent off their local rivals’ old building (barring a playoff series) on Tuesday. The Capitals, meanwhile, haven’t played a game since Saturday’s throttling of the Buffalo Sabres.

Washington also plays the third contest of a five-game homestand, so there are some pretty clear points in the Caps’ favor.

Then again, the Rangers have proven to be a pretty hearty group, especially lately. With last night’s win, they’re now 20-10-2 on the road, which is a comparable record to Washington’s 19-9-5 home mark.

The Rangers are in a prime position as far as the race for the Metropolitan Division’s top spot goes.

While the Islanders sit at No. 1 with 90 points, the Rangers are just one point behind with four games in hand. They also boast some nice advantages over the Pittsburgh Penguins (who have three fewer standings points after playing one extra game).

Washington is fairly comfortably placed in the East’s top wild card spot, although a streak or two could force them to swap WC spots with the Boston Bruins.

In other words, neither team is outright desperate, but both have plenty to gain from winning this one.

While there are some game-time decisions that could affect matters (will Mike Green and/or Brooks Orpik sit this one out? Shall New York lean on Cam Talbot again?), one thing we should see a showcase of Maurice Richard Trophy hopefuls. Rick Nash scored his 39th goal of the season off of a fortunate-yet-impressive game-winner on Tuesday, but he has a ways to go to catch Alex Ovechkin’s league-leading 44 tallies.

(Meanwhile, Nicklas Backstrom approaches a Capitals franchise assist record … although he’s also a game-time decision due to an illness, according to the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt.)

Both the Rangers and Capitals have generally maintained a high level of play lately, so this could serve as a solid barometer for each squad.

The two teams only met one time so far this season; the Rangers won 4-2 at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 23.

Caps recall Schilling because Green can’t go (Update)

Pittsburgh Penguins v Washington Capitals

Considering the fact that the New York Rangers played last night, the Washington Capitals are the “rested” team coming into Wednesday’s game. It might be a stretch to argue that they’re healthier, though.

As the Washington Post details here, the Capitals’ defense is facing a bit of injury turmoil during what’s been a remarkably healthy season. Mike Green and Brooks Orpik appear to be game-time decisions for tonight’s game against the Rangers, thus necessitating a recall of Cameron Schilling (pictured) today after brining up Nate Schmidt on Tuesday.

This doesn’t confirm that Green or Orpik will be out, but it obviously is an indicator that Washington believes they’re both questionable.

Despite this tough stretch, blueliner Karl Alzner told the Post that he hopes the team’s general run of good injury luck can continue.

“It’s been ridiculous, I think, how nice it’s been,” Alzner said. “There’s been nothing too major, and you knock on wood obviously, but I think that’s what’s helped us play so good.”

Update: Green told Prewitt he cannot play tonight. Nicklas Backstrom is also a game-time decision as he struggles with an illness.

Ovechkin (lower body) to miss first game of the season tonight

Washington Capitals v New York Islanders

Earlier today, Brough passed along news that “banged up” Washington captain Alex Ovechkin was questionable for tonight’s tilt against Minnesota.

Well, now you can rule him out officially.

The Caps have just announced that Ovechkin will miss his first game of the season with a lower-body ailment (per Caps PR). He’s also listed as day-to-day, meaning he might also be unavailable for Saturday’s game against Buffalo.

Ovechkin, who leads the NHL in goals (43) and points (67), has been remarkably durable this season… though that goes across the board for Washington. The Caps have had tremendous luck in the health department this season and currently boast nine players — Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson, Marcus Johansson, Troy Brouwer, Joel Ward, Matt Niskanen, Karl Alzner and Brooks Orpik — that have appeared in all 65 games this season.

That number, of course, will drop to eight after tonight.