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Latest Nicklas Bäckström Items
Alex Ovechkin scored one of three straight goals by Washington in the third period to lead the Capitals to a 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.
Tuesday's practice featured a noticeable change: Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin flanking leading scorer Nicklas Backstrom on the Caps' top line.
NHL players past and present who have been through coach firings explained that an initial spark is usually automatic. Tuesday night featured little of that spark, as the Caps lost Dale Hunter's coaching debut 2-1 to the St. Louis Blues at Verizon Center.
Nine — yes, nine Buffalo Sabres players, count 'em — are hurt. Forty-five percent of their regular lineup sat Saturday. Eight rookies dressed. Six of the 20 players began the season in the minors.
Sidney Crosby finished with two goals and two assists in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 5-0 victory over New York Islander, Crosby's first game since Jan. 5. Capitals players were equal parts impressed and happy about Crosby's return.
That Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau likes to shake up his lines is not new information. But Cody Eakin skating with Nicklas Backstrom and Troy Brouwer? That's a new trick.
Alex Ovechkin appears to be shooting less (3.4 per game; career average is 5.26) but it might be because fewer pucks are making it to the net:
At age 39, Washington Capitals forward Mike Knuble is adjusting to a move to the fourth line — a major shift for a man who has made a living scoring goals and playing big minutes.
The Washington Capitals' balanced scoring is no secret. And if it was, five different players putting up goals Friday — and an NHL-best 17 goal scorers this season — should make offensive depth jump out at anyone analyzing this team.