Ovechkin, Backstrom make 900th game memorable, rip Devils
(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer
NEWARK, N,J. (AP) Nicklas Backstom and Alex Ovechkin delivered for Washington once again.
Just like they had so many times before.
Backstrom had two goals and two assists and Ovechkin added his 22nd goal and an assist, leading the Capitals to a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.
John Carlson also had a goal and an assist as the Capitals rebounded from Monday's 3-0 loss at Columbus, improving to 16-3-1 on the road. Jonas Siegenthaler and Richard Panik also scored, and rookie Ilya Samsonov made 24 saves.
"I think we're never satisfied losing games," Backstrom said. "So it's always good that we bounce back right away and get points because I feel like this is what it's all about. I mean, getting points before the playoffs starts. So I mean, I think we've been we've been good like that all season. So hopefully we just continue that."
Washington leads the NHL with a 26-6-5 record. It is the only team in the league not to lose consecutive games in regulation this season.
Backstrom moved to 900 career points in his 900th game with Ovechkin with Washington. He was selected by the Capitals in the first round of the 2006 draft, joining Ovechkin, who was the first overall two years earlier.
"It's fun being part of this organization for this long and, and I mean, for playing with such a great player like Alex," Backstrom said.
Kyle Palmieri, Blake Coleman and Miles Wood scored for the Devils, who were denied their first three-game winning streak of the season. Mackenzie Blackwood had 21 saves before being relieved by Gilles Senn in the third period.
Palmieri has seen the Ovechkin-Backstrom act many times.
"They are world-class players for a reason. It's tough to defend them," Palmieri said. "You could ask 30 other teams and they would say the same thing. It's one of those things where you want to do your best job and try to limit their chances. Obviously, they had a good night tonight."
Palmieri gave the Devils the lead with a power-play goal 4:00 after the opening faceoff. Ovechkin and Backstrom scored 1:10 apart late in the period to put the Capitals in front.
Coleman tied the game 4:15 into the second with a questionable goal. Samsonov stopped his attempt but the Devils forward was knocked to the ice and crashed into the goaltender. The puck finished in the net and counted.
Backstrom's go-ahead goal came with the teams playing 4-on-4 in the final minute of the period. Backstrom found Ovechkin coming down the middle of the offensive zone. Ovechkin faked a shot and found Backstrom for a tap-in and a 3-2 lead.
"It's been pretty special watching, especially the two of them, but I think Nick is really underrated," said Carlson, who scored early in the third while the teams were still 4 on 4. "He's done a lot for this franchise over the years and his game is still at, you know, one of the best in the league.
NOTES: The Devils have fewer overall wins (11) than Washington has on the road. ... Shortly after Palmieri scored, Capitals forward Carl Hagelin was awarded a penalty shot and missed the net. ... The game was the first of four between the teams. ... D Andy Greene played in his 900th game with Devils.
Capitals: Host Tampa Bay on Saturday night
Devils: at Columbus on Saturday night.
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Updated December 20, 2019