Nicklas Backstrom Passes Peter Bondra for Franchise Points Mark in Capitals 4-1 Win Over Trotz’s Islanders

michael banner 2The Washington Capitals are on fire and teams are having trouble extinguishing them. Their latest victim was the New York Islanders, whom the Capitals dominated in a 4-1 win several hours after players reunited with their former coach Barry Trotz and presented him with his well-earned, well-deserved Stanley Cup ring.

“It’s gonna be really hard to not like you guys. It really is. Because you’re always family,” Trotz told his former players when receiving his hardware. Once puck dropped, the former coach and the team he led to a Stanley Cup were opponents and it was strange. We look forward to seeing Trotz when the Islanders come to town but let’s focus on the now, or as you’re reading this, the last night.

The Islanders made an early statement 36 seconds in when Valtteri Filppula struck but that lead was very short-lived. Tom Wilson continued his fire. He’s literally been the league’s hottest player (no not that kind of hot, I’m a guy!) since his return from his reduced suspension. He scored for the fourth game in a row with his fifth goal of the season with a shot from the right face-off zone to knot the score at 2:50 off assists from Nicklas Backstrom and Madison Bowey

The score was tied at one in the first intermission with the Caps leading in shots on goal 12-8. If Wilson’s play on the ice is hot, Nic Dowd is heating up. In the second period at 7:58, Dowd scored for the second straight game with a nice wrister from the right face-off area. Dmitrij Jaskin and John Carlson with the helpers.

The Capitals held a 2-1 lead after 40 despite being outshot in the middle stanza 10-3. They took command late in the third period and Backstrom made some history. Tanner Fritz hooked Jaskin at 12:04 and 30 seconds later Thomas Hickey tripped Nicky, putting the visitors on a 5-on-3 two-man advantage (hey two-man advantage, those pregame videos are helpful). While the Caps didn’t score on the two man, they still had a power play for half a minute. With 14 seconds left on the power play at 14:21, the Caps showed great puck movement from Lars Eller, to Backy, to Wilson for his second goal of the night.

Backstrom made history on that tic-tac-toe play with his 826th career-point, passing icon Peter Bondra for second in the franchise all-time points list. Who does he trail for #1? You guessed it, Alex Ovechkin. I’d say I owe you a beer but I can’t afford it for the thousands who answered the question quickly or asked Siri. Wilson tweeted a picture with Backstrom and Eller with the game puck that landed into the net when the milestone happened.

At 19:38 Alex Ovechkin sealed the game with an empty-net goal with assists by Willy and Backy. It was Ovechkin’s 16th goal of the season. Ovechkin, in addition to Backstrom, made some history of his own. His goal moved him to 15th all-time on the NHL list, tying him with Joe Sakic and Jarome Iginla.

The Capitals would go on to win their sixth in a row with the final score of 4-1. The Caps were outshot in the third period 15-9 and trailed shots for the full 60 minutes 33-24. Starting goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 32 of 33 shots he faced for a .970 save percentage.

The Caps went perfect on the dad’s trip winning both games in the big apple while going sightseeing in between. They are still in first place and the Stanley Cup champions. They’ll get some rest today before practicing and preparing for a home date to play the Devils. Their record improves to 14-7-3 with 31 points.

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