Backstrom nearly as hot as Ovechkin

Backstrom nearly as hot as Ovechkin
December 18, 2013, 5:00 pm

Oates has interesting view of Backstrom-Ovi relationship

News and notes as the Capitals enjoy a full day off before hitting the ice at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in preparation for Friday night’s visit to Raleigh, N.C. to face the Hurricanes:

The other St. Nick: Caps center Nicklas Backstrom earned an assist on Alex Ovechkin’s first-period goal Tuesday night, extending his points streak to four games [2 goals, 8 assists]. Backstrom has 12 points in his last six games [2 goals, 10 assists) and has earned an assist on 17 of Ovechkin’s 28 goals this season. The Gavle, Sweden native ranks first in the NHL in power-play assists [18], second in power-play points [20], tied for third in assists [29] and tied for seventh in points [37].

Shootout kings: Roughly a third of the Caps’ games this season have been decided by shootouts. Eleven of the Capitals’ 34 have been decided by shootouts, and while they may be exciting for fans it’s hard to find many players who enjoy them.

Even Caps left wing Eric Fehr, who is 5-for-5 in shootouts this season, disapproves.

"To be honest, I don't really like the shootouts," Fehr said. "I wish we didn't have shootouts in the game. I wish we'd go into 4-on-4 a little longer [than five minutes], 3-on-3 or something. But as long as they're there, we've got to find a way to win them and get the points."

If the Capitals get into the playoffs this season, their proficiency in shootouts will be a big reason. They are 8-3 in shootouts this season, with Fehr and Backstrom [6-for-9] the sharpest shooters.

[RELATED: Capitals recall Neuvirth from Hershey]

What’s Fehr’s game plan against goalies?

"I usually have one play in my head that I'd like to do and come down and take a look,” he said. "If I don't see it there, I switch up and go through a few different options."