Age is Just a Number: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom Left Major Impact in Capitals’ Game 1 Win vs. Panthers

Photos: Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

Tuesday’s Game 1 win over the Florida Panthers was a gritty one, but nonetheless, the Washington Capitals got the job done and lead 1-0 in the best-of-seven first-round series of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Captain Alex Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom did not score in the 4-2 victory; however, the dynamic duo continued to leave a major impact out on the ice.

Ovechkin’s defense was the spark that led to the Capitals’ three-goal third-period rally. Trailing 2-1, Ovechkin stepped up and stymied Panthers’ defenseman Mackenzie Weegar at the Panthers’ blue line. The captain’s poke-check led to a breakaway opportunity for center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who buried the chance to tie the game, 2-2.

The two would notch their first points of the postseason. Ovechkin also recorded four shots on goal. Additionally, it marked Ovechkin’s 65th career playoff assist and his 136th career playoff point, which ranks third among active players.

Just 2:23 after the Ovechkin theft and Kuznetsov goal, right-wing T.J. Oshie leaped behind the Panthers defense and directed a Backstrom pass that was delivered between a Panthers’ defenseman’s legs, for what became the game-winner.

Oshie said postgame the pass was done in “typical Nicky fashion, sauced it through a guy’s legs and right on my tape.”

Ovechkin and Backstrom, 36 and 34 respectively, proved that despite scoring no goals and even their age, they still left their mark in Game 1, creating important plays that ultimately led to a big win in South Florida. Ovechkin has recorded 46 points, which include 25 goals, in his last 45 playoff games, dating back to the start of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Meanwhile, Backstrom leads the franchise with 73 career playoff assists.

The Capitals go to battle with the Panthers in Game 2 on Thursday from FLA Live Arena. NBC Sports Washington and TBS will have the coverage beginning at 7:30 PM ET.

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on X: @dellayoung
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2 Responses to Age is Just a Number: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom Left Major Impact in Capitals’ Game 1 Win vs. Panthers

  1. Anonymous says:

    Batman and Robin still got it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The team’s bets really stepped up when it was needed last night.

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