Nicklas Backstrom’s goalless drought is finally over.
The Capitals forward last scored on Oct. 14. While he recorded nine assists since then, Backstrom hadn’t found the back of the net in his last 21 games. That was until Backstrom’s Capitals faced the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.
During the first period, Backstrom patroled the Capitals’ offensive zone as Tom Wilson dished the puck to Alex Ovechkin. The Capitals captain found Backstrom alone in front of Blackhawks goaltender Anton Forsberg. In the blink of an eye, Backstrom sent the shot past Forsberg to give Washington an early lead.
Whole line involved in this one. #CapsHawks #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/zRkUNooR40
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 7, 2017
Backstrom’s production, or lack thereof, could be attributed to head coach Barry Trotz’ opting to seperate Backstrom and Ovechkin to different lines. From that moment, Ovechkin continued to rise the NHL scoring ranks while Backstrom struggled to score. Backstrom’s fourth goal of the season lifted the frustration that has amounted on his shoulders throughout the drought. But even when he wasn’t scoring, Backstrom remained poised.
“Obviously, you want to score,” Backstrom told the Washington Post. “You get so frustrated. I’m aware of the situation, but what am I going to do? I can’t just lay down and play dead. You’ve got to keep trying, and eventually, hopefully it’ll come.”
Backstrom’s goal catapulted the Capitals top-line forward. Three minutes after Washington took the lead, Wilson scored with Backstrom credited with a secondary assist. Ovechkin scored shortly after to signal an abrubt end to Forsberg’s night. The Capitals top-line contributed seven points on the three goals.