Tag: Nicklas Backstrom

Andre Burakovsky

Capitals call up Burakovsky


The Washington Capitals recalled forward Andre Burakovsky on Thursday as they ready for a game against the Minnesota Wild.

It may be a sign that Michael Latta could miss some time after Tuesday’s violent contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets (with a Jared Boll hit possibly being what’s causing him his biggest issues), as the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt notes.

To some degree, it’s almost a little surprising that Burakovsky was demoted in the first place. The 20-year-old has been a quick study at the NHL level in many ways, showing some ability to skate with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom (among other positive signs).

The Capitals sent him down to make sure he had playing time, however, and Barry Trotz provided some glowing remarks about Burakovsky to Prewitt a few days ago.

“Every time we’ve put him in the lineup, he’s done a fantastic job for us. And he’s still learning. He’s still learning. He’s bright,” Trotz said. “I’ve got Burt penciled in for top-six forward for the next 15 years in his career. That’s where he’s headed. Is he there? Some games he’s there; some games he’s not. He’s still in the development stage. But you’re not going to find a better person or a better player who’s eager to do well.”

Let us all note that his nickname is “Burt,” by the way. That information could be exceedingly useful in the future …

Trade: Capitals land Glencross, Flames get two picks

Curtis Glencross

The Washington Capitals acquired forward Curtis Glencross from the Calgary Flames on Sunday, according to various reporters including TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Update: Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports that the Flames received a second and third-round pick (both Capitals’ picks* in 2015) for Glencross. No salary was retained in the trade, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

Glencross, 28, is in the final year of a contract that carries a modest $2.55 million cap hit.

He has nine goals and 28 points in 53 games so far in 2014-15. His best work came a few seasons ago, particularly when he generated 26 goals and 48 points in 67 games during the 2011-12 season with Calgary.

One could see Capitals head coach Barry Trotz deploying Glencross in a number of ways. The most tantalizing idea is that he could finally give Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom a stable linemate, as they’ve seen a parade of wingers on their line in 2014-15. Glencross could also ease some of the pressure on that duo by bolstering Washington’s scoring depth.

Quick note: TSN’s Bob McKenzie points out that the official call hasn’t happened yet:

* – Washington has a third-rounder from Buffalo, but Calgary was unable to pry that one loose.

Capitals ‘face reality’ after three straight losses


Friday night, facing the Carolina Hurricanes, the Washington Capitals recorded their third consecutive loss. And it has that team, in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, asking plenty of questions and searching for answers on how to end this sudden slide.

The Capitals got off to a slow start, with only four shots on goal in the first 20 minutes, falling behind by a goal. The deficit increased by one each period. In the end, they were unable to get anything going offensively in a 3-0 loss to the Hurricanes.

In terms of the playoff race, the Capitals sit seventh in the East, seven points up on the Boston Bruins, who were victorious in New Jersey.

It’s enough of a cushion to withstand a small slide. Anything greater, and teams out of the playoff picture might be able to catch up.

“You have to face reality,” Nicklas Backstrom told the Washington Post. “If you’re not good, you’re not good. We’ve got to look ourselves in the mirrors and know what we did wrong and we’ve got to correct it, because this is not going to be [enough] in the playoffs either. If we make it there.”

Get your game notes: Penguins at Capitals, Rivalry Night

Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, collides with Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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


• Last game: Both last played on Sunday…PIT won at home over FLA, 5-1…WSH lost at PHI, 3-2.

• WSH sits in the 1st wild card spot in the East, 9 points ahead of BOS (2nd WC).

• PIT won its division the last 2 seasons, but has never won 3 straight division titles (currently in 47th season).

• PIT: 7-11-4 vs. Metropolitan Division teams this season

• No other team currently in a playoff position has below a .500 points% within its own division.

• Caps dominating Pens this season (Potential Playoff Meeting?): This is the 4th and final meeting of the season; Washington has beaten Pittsburgh in all 3 previous meetings this season, scoring 3+ goals in each game and outscoring the Pens 10-1 including 2 shutouts…PIT was last swept by WSH in season series in 2009-10 (0-2-2).

• 3 of the top 6 scorers in the league will be on display in this one, including the league’s top goal scorer, Alex Ovechkin, who leads the NHL with 38 goals.

• Since Nicklas Backstrom entered the league in 2007-08, his teammate Alex Ovechkin leads the league in goals & points – Evgeni Malkin & Sidney Crosby rank 2nd & 3rd (Crosby 2nd in points; Malkin in goals – the other 3rd in each)…Backstrom ranks 8th in both goals & points.

• However, Crosby leads all NHLers in points/game since ’07-08 (Malkin – 2nd, Ovi – 3rd).

• 4 of 10 players with 550+ points since ’07-08

• Feb. for both clubs…WSH has gone 8-4-0 in the month…PIT is 6-4-1 in Feb.

• PIT comes in looking to win 3 straight for the first time since Dec. 15-20.

• WSH looks to win for the 5th time in the last 6 games (4-1-0 in last 5).


• PIT power play: 0-for-the-month (0-20) until its last 2 games when it went 1-3 in each (2-26 on PP in Feb.).

• Sidney Crosby is one goal shy of reaching the 20-goal mark for the 8th time in his 10-season career.

• Crosby had 2 assists vs. FLA to improve his points/game to 1.09 (1st in NHL).

• Evgeni Malkin recorded his first 2goal-1assist game of the season vs. FLA.

• He has 5 points (3G-2A) during a 3-game point streak.

• Career vs. WSH: 39 points (9G-30A) in 28 games

• Kris Letang had an assist vs. FLA to continue his hot stretch. He is tied with CGY’s Mark Giordano for most points among defensemen (47) and leads all blueliners in assists (37).

• Letang is 1 goal & 3 pts away from tying his career high in both (11G last season, 50 pts in 2010-11).

• Patric Hornqvist posted 2 goals & 1 assist vs. FLA to match a career high for points in a game (last done on Nov. 8 at BUF). The 1st-year Penguin is 2 goals & 1 assist shy of his 4th career 20-20 season.

• Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 34 of 35 shots vs. FLA for his 27th victory of the season.

• Fleury has allowed no more than 2 goals in each of his last 7 starts dating back to Feb. 4:

• 4-2-1 record, 1.00 GAA, .964 SV%

• Career vs. WSH: 16-10-2, 2.48 GAA, .916 SV%

• Fleury leads the league in shutouts with a career-high/franchise-record 8 this season

• The Rangers (9), Wild & Canucks (both 8) are the only teams w/ as many clean sheets as Fleury

• Braden Holtby (WSH), Ryan Miller (VAN) & Devan Dubnyk (MIN) are t-2nd with 6 shutouts.


• Alex Ovechkin (goals) & Nicklas Backstrom (assists & pts) are at the top of the league rankings this season.

• Despite 0 points in his last 2 games, Ovi still has 11 points (6G-5A) in his last 8 games.

• Ovi leads the NHL in Feb. with 9 goals and 16 points.

• Backstrom’s 4-game point streak was snapped at PHI but he has 7 points (2G-5A) in his last 5 games.

• The highest Backstrom has ever finished in the scoring race is 4th when he had 101 points back in 2009-10 (Ovi finished t-2nd that season w/ 109)… The highest Backstrom has ever finished in assists was 3rd – done 4 times. His career high in both was set in the 2009-10 season (68A-101PTS).

• Last season Sidney Crosby (PIT) led the league in assists (68) & points (104).

• Ovechkin has won the Rocket Richard Trophy 4 times including each of the last 2 seasons.

• Six players have won the league’s goal-scoring title 5 or more times including Maurice Richard himself.

• Ovechkin has won the Art Ross Trophy once in his career (2007-08) – it is the only season a Capitals player has ever led the league in scoring.
Ovechkin was the last player to win both the Rocket Richard and Art Ross Trophy in the same season, doing so in 2007-08 with 65 goals and 112 points (both career highs)…Jarome Iginla in 2001-02 with CGY is the only other player to have won both awards in the same season.

• Ovechkin is a 3-time Hart Trophy winner (MVP) – 2012-13, 2008-09, 2007-08.

• No two teammates have more points this season than Ovechkin & Backstrom (125).

• Not since Joe Thornton (assists & points) & Jonathan Cheechoo (goals), in 2005-06 as members of the Sharks, had two teammates ended the season leading the league in each of those categories.

• Braden Holtby has started the Caps last 4 games and despite giving up 3 goals vs. PHI, he has allowed only 7 goals total in those 4 starts (1.73 GAA, .938 SV%)

NHL on NBCSN: Caps aim for season series sweep vs. Pens

Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins

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

As far as the Penguins – Capitals rivalry goes, it seemed like Pittsburgh had the upper hand for a significant stretch of time, but now Washington is in charge.

If the Capitals win in regulation on “Rivalry Night” tonight, they’ll take all eight possible standings points from this season series, while Pittsburgh would end up with nothing.

Here’s a quick look at the previous three games in this season series:

Feb. 17: Washington 3, Pittsburgh 1
Jan. 28: Washington 4, Pittsburgh 0
Dec. 27: Washington 3, Pittsburgh 0

Yikes, that’s a 10-1 total score, too.

As much as these games are about Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin vs. Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, Braden Holtby’s been the clear story in 2014-15, as Pittsburgh’s only managed to score once against him in three games.

This game means more than a series sweep, though.

If Washington manages to win in regulation, they’d push Pittsburgh into the wild card and take the third spot in the Metropolitan Division.

Seeding is very much up for grabs at this point in the season, really.

As an added bonus, both teams seem to come into this game with solid momentum. The Penguins have won two games in a row by a combined score of 9-3 while Washington just saw a four-game winning streak end on Sunday.

This rivalry will probably be worth watching until its biggest stars fade, but even with that in mind, the significant playoff implications should make Wednesday’s game that much more entertaining.