Dale Hunter tweaked his lines throughout this first-round series against the Boston Bruins, a couple of times reuniting Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson because of chemistry.
“Nicky and JoJo know each other, being Swedish and stuff,” the Washington Capitals coach said last week.
Knowledge helped, as Johansson set up Backstrom for the Game 2 double-overtime winner, and the two excelled together since. But Sunday afternoon one mistake by Backstrom trying to outlet the puck to Johansson cost the Caps dearly.
Early in overtime, with Roman Hamrlik and Dennis Wideman caught on the left side of the ice together, Backstrom tried a loss pass through the neutral zone to Johansson. It was a dangerous attempt by a smart player.
David Krejci picked it off and seconds later Tyler Seguin had plenty of open ice to beat Braden Holtby and force a Game 7.
“I was trying to hit Marcus there but I missed the pass, so bad turnover by me,” Backstrom said.
It’s the first series in NHL history that the first six games were all decided by one goal, according to Elias.
“We make mistake and it cost us the game,” captain Alex Ovechkin said. “You can see how we play: Every game it’s one goal, and this going to be game that win the series, so we just have to play.”
For his part, Holtby called it “a play I’d like to give myself a better chance on.”
Here’s video of the turnover and Seguin’s goal: