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Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom reminisce on the moment they won the Stanley Cup

Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom reminisce on the moment they won the Stanley Cup

The franchise and the city had waited more than four decades, but it was finally time. The Capitals had won the Stanley Cup.

Alex Ovechkin, the team's unquestioned franchise player since his career started in 2005, and Nicklas Backstrom, his teammate of more than a decade sat down with NBC Sports Washington's Rob Carlin to talk about the moment they reached the peak of the sport.

"I’m gonna remember when we’re standing on the bench, 0.06 seconds remaining, faceoff in our zone," Backstrom said. "Ovi and I took our helmets off. We were ready to celebrate. Imagine if they would have scored then."

Ovechkin's reaction — hands in the air, screaming and skating to celebrate with his teammates — has been played over and over. At this point, it's probably ingrained in every Capitals fan's head. His memory of the moment is a bit bigger-picture.

"That moment I think we’re gonna remember forever," Ovechkin said. "When you win the first one, that’s the hardest one, I think. Of course, if we got a second one, that’s gonna be fun as well, but the first one is — for the whole organization, for the whole town ... a pretty special moment."

And then it was time to raise Lord Stanley's Cup. Ovechkin said he didn't want to think about it too early, but it was almost impossible not to imagine what it would be like.

"It was a situation when you get closer to that, you try not to think about it but as soon as it was Game 5, I was like 'OK, I don’t want to think about it. Let’s win,'" Ovechkin said. "And then it happened. But before then, of course, you imagine how you’re gonna raise it, what you’re gonna do with it."

After it was his turn to lift The Cup, Ovechkin handed it to his right-hand man.

"I don’t even remember that moment. I remember I came to you and I said ‘I’m going to give it to you,’" Ovechkin said to Backstrom.

Looking back, it's a bit easier to appreciate what the moment meant, not just to them as players or as a team, but what the moment meant to the fans and for the city.

"To see the whole city just come together when we beat Pittsburgh there in the second round, I thought everyone just came out. It was so cool to see all the people in the streets," Backstrom said. "No other city deserves it more than Washington, I think so. We’re happy to be a part of it and we’re really excited that it happened."

Ovechkin's feelings were much the same. A fan-favorite, the team's supporters often rode high and low with his successes and failures.

"I think it’s gonna stick for a long time," Ovechkin said. "It’s a special moment for all of us to go through all of the bad things and good things. Finally, when you reach it, I think it’s the biggest moment in my life, for sure."

The Capitals will start climbing back toward that peak Wednesday night, Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. ET against the defending Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues.


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Everything you need to know as Backstrom is declared out for Wednesday and Caps make flurry of roster moves

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Everything you need to know as Backstrom is declared out for Wednesday and Caps make flurry of roster moves

Dealing with a number of injuries and the possible suspension of Garnet Hathaway, the Capitals made a flurry of roster moves on Wednesday. Carl Hagelin was placed on LTIR and Nic Dowd was played on IR. Both players are dealing with an upper-body injury and acre considered day-to-day. Hagelin will be eligible to return to the roster on Dec. 2 and Dowd on Nov. 21. Goalie Vitek Vanecek was reassigned to Hershey. The resulting cap space allowed the team to recall forward Beck Malenstyn, Mike Sgarbossa, defenseman Tyler Lewington and goalie Ilya Samsonov, which the team announced earlier on Wednesday.

In addition, it was announced that Nicklas Backstrom will not play Wednesday against the New York Rangers. due to an upper-body injury. He is considered day-to-day and remains on the active roster.

The team continues to insist both Hagelin and Dowd are day-to-day, but they had no choice but to place one of them on LTIR in order to get enough cap room to call in some reinforcements. The team does not get relief from Dowd going to IR other than an extra roster spot, nor will Hathaway's salary come off the books if he is indeed suspended.

It was clear from the start that calling up Vanecek was a temporary move and that the team wanted to get back Samsonov as quickly as possible. These moves allowed them the cap space to do so. It also allowed them the cap space to recall a seventh defenseman in case of injury, hence the Tyler Lewington move. The salary cap gymnastics the team had to go through last week show why keeping the bare minimum number of players on the roster can quickly turn into a problem. With all the injuries upfront, however, and the possible Hathaway suspension, the bare minimum may be exactly what the Caps will be left with in terms of forwards.

With no Backstrom, Hagelin or Dowd, we are going to see some line shuffling at the morning skate in preparation for Wednesday's game against the New York Rangers (8 p.m., NBCSN). Lars Eller will move up to the second line with Backstrom out and both Sgarboss and Malenstyn will be inserted into the bottom six. If this is in fact what happens, then Wednesday will be Malenstyn's first career NHL game. He clearly caught the eye of head coach Todd Reirden in the preseason with his strong play.

No announcement has yet been made regarding Hathaway's suspension.


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How to Watch Capitals at Rangers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream

NBC Sports Washington

How to Watch Capitals at Rangers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream

Washington trounced Anaheim on Monday, with its 5-2 victory. Now, the Capitals head up to New York's Madison Square Garden for a Wednesday Night Rivalry Night against the Rangers. 

With Washington leading the all-time series record, and veteran defenseman John Carlson having a career season (including a seven-game point streak), New York better be ready for a challenge.

Here is everything you need to know about the rivalry night matchup, including how to watch.


What: Washington Capitals at New York Rangers, Game 24 of the 2019-2020 NHL Regular Season

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York

When: 8:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Capitals at Rangers game will be broadcast on NBCSN (Channel Finder Link)

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals at Rangers on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM


7:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live (NBC Sports Washington Plus)

7:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live (NBC Sports Washington Plus)

8:00 PM: Capitals at Rangers (NBCSN)

10:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live

10:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live (NBC Sports Washington Plus)

11:00 PM: Caps Overtime Live (NBC Sports Washington Plus)



Carl Hagelin, upper body, day-to-day

Nic Dowd, upper body, day-to-day


Marc Staal, ankle, week-to-week

Mika Zibanejad, upper body, day-to-day


John Carlson, D, Capitals (8G, 27A, 35 Pts): Back in October, when the Caps and Rangers first met this season, Carlson put up a team-high three points. Now, the defenseman has a seven-game point streak and is tied for the third-most points in the league (35).

Artemi Panarin, C, Rangers (9 G, 14A, 23 Pts): Since joining the Rangers as a free agent this summer, Panarin has shown his offensive prowess and now leads New York in goals (9). He also has nine points in the Rangers' last five games, though he's only scored twice in that period.  

Alex Ovechkin, LW, Capitals (15G, 10A, 25Pts): An offensive powerhouse for Washington, the captain is once again providing numbers up front. Ovechkin also has six goals and five assists over the Capitals' last 10 games. 


Number of all-time Meetings: 273 (55 postseason)

All-Time Series Record: Capitals lead 131-117-18

Regular Season Record: Capitals lead 103-90-18

Playoff Record: Capitals lead 28-27

Last Meeting: Caps win 5-2 (10/18/19)

Last 10: Capitals lead 9-1