A few long-standing traditions showing mercy all over once Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom finally raised the Stanley Cup last Gregorian calendar month. the burden of getting ne'er won was upraised and therefore thestandard questions about whether or not they’d ever catch on done came to a screeching halt. however Stanley Cup champs or not, there's one ceremony of spring they can’t appear to dodge.
When the Capitals host the Hurricanes tonight, Ovechkin and Backstrom are going to be sport in their twelfthcareer Game seven along — the foremost by any 2 teammates in NHL history.
“There’s pressure on each groups,” Ovechkin same, “but it’s a decent likelihood for USA to beat them reception.”
The manner Ovechkin and Backstrom square measure manufacturing this spring, the Capitals would be missing an incredible chance if they don’t pull this off.
“They’ve carried USA for the foremost half,” coach Todd Reirden same Tuesday.
While the Capitals would like a lot of from 20-goal scorers Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jakub Vrana —neither has scored this series — Ovechkin and Backstrom have arguably been taking part in a number of the simplestcompetition hockey of their careers.
Sure, there was a lot of at stake last might and Gregorian calendar month, however as way as a personal series, spherical one against geographical area has been vintage Ovechkin and Backstrom.
“We wouldn’t be during this scenario while not them,” goaltender Braden Holtby same. “In terms of play, Ovi’s right at the highest without delay in each space. He’s taking part in arduous, and it’s on USA to follow him currently and play our greatest game.”
Ovechkin has four goals and eight points in six games, however he’s conjointly set the tone with speed and disposition. In Washington’s 6-0 Game five win, Ovechkin had a goal, 2 primary assists and a game-high elevenhits — his highest hit total during a postseason game determined in regulation.
“He’s the simplest goal scorer perhaps within the entire history of the sport and for him to play physical like that, he affects guys,” center Nic Dowd same. “You saw it in Game five. It’s his play faraway from the puck in additionbecause the ability to attain big-time goals that produces him such AN elite player.”
It’s straightforward to forget that Ovechkin, 33, may be a one4-year veteran with quite 1,000 games on his NHL hodometer. Seemingly, at some purpose, he can curtail. This spring isn’t that time, and with veteran T.J. Oshie out indefinitely, each Ovechkin and Backstrom do a lot of of the work.
Backstrom, 31, has already matched his personal best with 5 goals during a single series — a mark he antecedently reached in 2010.
“They’re sensations within the league doing superstar stuff,” forward Devante Smith-Pelly same.
To make another deep postseason run this year, the Capitals can would like a lot of from down the depth chart. however if that chance will return up within the weeks ahead, it'll be thanks for the most part to Ovechkin and Backstrom’s first-round contributions.
“They’ve been outstanding,” Holtby said. “They’ve been the consistency to our cluster, and that’s why they’re our leaders.”