Hours before the Washington Capitals took the ice for Game 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, they rewarded center Nic Dowd with a three-year contract extension worth $750,000 per year.
Dowd came to Washington last summer via free agency, signing a one-year deal. He filled the void at fourth-line center left by Jay Beagle, who signed with the Canucks.
Dowd played 64 games in the regular season and set a career mark for goals (eight, including three game-winning goals), along with 14 assists averaging just 10:18 time on ice per game. The Capitals struggled in faceoff percentage without Beagle, finishing last in the NHL, but Dowd won 51.9 percent of his faceoffs.
The Capitals locked him up just weeks after trading for and signing Dowd’s friend, defenseman Nick Jensen. Dowd and Jensen played at St. Cloud State together, were roommates and served as groomsmen in each other’s weddings.
Dowd, 28, is slated to start on the fourth line Thursday night in his first career postseason game when Washington hosts the Carolina Hurricanes.
• Adam Zielonka can be reached at email@example.com.
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