Wednesday was Opening Day of the 2018-2019 season for the Washington Capitals. It was most notable for the Pre-game ceremonies, including player and staff introductions, display of the Stanley Cup, and the raising of the Stanley Cup Champions banner to the rafters of Capital One Arena. The game that ensued was a 7-0 win for the Washington Capitals. During that game, two Capitals players achieved significant milestones in the win: Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin.
Nicklas Backstrom’s 800th NHL Point
Prior to the season, longtime centerman and alternate Captain, Nicklas Backstrom, sat just one assist shy of the 800-point threshold. However, he wasted no time achieving that milestone. Less than 30 seconds into the game, Matt Niskanen got the puck, passed it to Backstrom at the wall, who then passed it to T.J. Oshie who shot and scored.
Before the night was over, Backstrom had two more assists, both in second period, one on a goal by Ovechkin and the other on a goal by Carlson. He had 802 NHL points when the night was over. Backstrom ended just three points behind Rick Nash who has still not signed with an NHL team and is contemplating retirement.
Alex Ovechkin Tied for 18th Place in All-Time Goals
Before the season, Ovechkin had scored 607 goals, which was just one goal behind Dino Ciccarelli. Just over four minutes into the second period of the opener, on a Caps power play, Oshie sent the pass to Backstrom who passed to Ovechkin who scored from his “office” for his first goal of the year. It tied Ciccarelli for 18th place on the All Time List in goals. This put him just two goals behind his next goal scoring milestone, tying the great Bobby Hull who scored 610.
These two milestones should be the first of many for the Caps this year.
By Diane Doyle