Backstrom’s 500th assist makes difference for Capitals vs. Senators

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You know what makes a milestone moment that much sweeter? Having that historic stat also factor into your team winning the game.

Nicklas Backstrom‘s 500th career assist qualified for that, as T.J. Oshie was the only goal-scorer of a 1-0 Washington Capitals win against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

Backstrom became the 10th Swedish player to hit that milestone, and he’s one of the fastest active players to that mark. The Capitals’ PR team collected a few other interesting tidbits regarding where Backstrom ranks among great passers, both from his country and overall:

He is the first player from the 2006 Draft class to reach the 500-assist plateau and also ranks first among players drafted in 2006 in points. The Gavle, Sweden, native is the 10th Swedish-born player in NHL history to reach 500 assists, joining Nicklas Lidstrom (878), Mats Sundin (785), Henrik Sedin (765), Daniel Alfredsson (713), Borje Salming (637), Peter Forsberg (636), Daniel Sedin (600), Thomas Steen (553) and Henrik Zetterberg (548). Backstrom is the second-fastest Swedish-born player in NHL history to reach the 500-assist plateau (691 GP), trailing Forsberg (551 GP) and the third-fastest player to reach 500 assists among active NHL players, trailing Sidney Crosby (554 GP) and Jaromir Jagr (642 GP). He also ranks second among active players (min. 600 GP) in assists per game (.723).

It wasn’t all good news for Oshie, however, as he suffered an upper-body injury. That was about all reporters could get from Barry Trotz after the 1-0 win.

Braden Holtby was the true star of the game with 30 saves, but hey, it wouldn’t be a Backstrom milestone if some other great Capital didn’t steal away some of the limelight, right?