The Washington Times - November 7, 2011, 11:28AM

Nicklas Backstrom has been playing really well. Well enough to earn honors from the NHL.

Backstrom leads the Capitals with 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) and had three goals and three assists in three games last week.


“I haven’t really noticed anything different, except maybe he’s shooting a little more,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Nicky, whether he’s scoring or whether he’s not scoring is such a contributor at both ends of the ice that you never know, as a coach, whether he’s playing a bad game or a good game if you just look at offensive statistics because he’s always doing the right things.”

Backstrom doesn’t think this is the “top” of his game, either.

“It feels good. I don’t know if it’s the top, but it feels good out there,” he said. “I’m healthy and stuff like that. Hopefully I can just continue to work hard and make sure I do the right things.”

Goaltender Josh Harding of the Minnesota Wild was named first star. Loui Eriksson of the Dallas Stars - the Caps’ opponent Tuesday - was named second star.