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NHL 20 Capitals simulation: Backstrom's hat trick sparks Caps to win over defending champion Blues

NHL 20 Capitals simulation: Backstrom's hat trick sparks Caps to win over defending champion Blues

Nicklas Backstrom scored the game's first two goals and Brenden Dillon scored the game-winner over the St. Louis Blues in a key third period for the Capitals in the latest EA Sports NHL 20 simulation. This was the first simulated Caps game broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

Result: Caps 5, Blues 3

1st period

1-0 Caps goal: Nicklas Backstrom from Brenden Dillon and Tom Wilson

2-0 Caps goal (power play): Nicklas Backstrom from Jakub Vrana and T.J. Oshie

2-1 Blues goal: Ivan Barbashev from Colton Parayko

2nd period

2-2 Blues goal: Alexander Steen from Oskar Sundqvist and Colton Parayko

3-2 Caps goal: Lars Eller from Garnet Hathaway and Richard Panik

3-3 Blues goal: Alexander Steen from Alex Pietrangelo and Oskar Sundqvist

3rd period

4-3 Caps goal: Brenden Dillon from Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson

5-3 Caps goal (power play, empty netter): Nicklas Backstrom from T.J. Oshie and Jakub Vrana


How the Caps won

1. Nicklas Backstrom

Washington was able to put up four goals on St. Louis plus one empty netter, but don't let that fool you. Blues netminder Jordan Binnington was on his game. He had the answer for almost everything the Caps threw at him, but he didn't have an answer for Backstrom.

Backstrom scored the first two goals of the game as he beat Binnington twice in the first period. He would finish off the hat trick, and the game, in the third period with an empty-netter.

2. The third period

St. Louis battled back from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 and the game was tied heading into the third period. After seeing the Blues dominate the second, Washington dominated the third to take back control of the game. Dillon fired a blistering slap shot to beat Binnington after three St. Louis players got caught chasing the puck in the defensive zone leaving Dillon wide open on the point. That goal would prove to be the game-winner. Backstrom would add the empty-netter soon after.

3. Special teams

Washington got the edge in special teams play as the team gave up only three power plays, killed off all three and scored two power play tallies of their own. The key penalty kill game in the third period when Richard Panik was called for hooking but Washington was able to kill it off to maintain control in a dominant third period.

Next game

The Caps were scheduled to play the New York Rangers at home on Thursday. The game will be simmed with NHL 20 on NBC Sports Washington at 7 p.m.

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How does Capitals' Evgeny Kuznetsov get ready for a Game 7? He watches TV

How does Capitals' Evgeny Kuznetsov get ready for a Game 7? He watches TV

Everyone remembers Evgeny Kuznetsov's series-clinching overtime goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2018. That goal now overshadows another series-clinching goal Kuznetsov had in 2015. In Game 7 against the New York Islanders, Kuznetsov scored what would prove to be the winning goal to break up a 1-1 tie. Clearly he knows how to get ready for a big game. His secret? Television.

Kuznetsov appeared on NBC Sports Washington's Capitals Greatest Hits show on Monday to talk about his 2015 performance and the topic of the locker room came up. Both teams went into that game knowing their season was on the line and Kuznetsov was asked if the feeling was any different in the locker room before the game, a question he did not know exactly how to answer.

"I'm never in the locker room," Kuznetsov said. "I'm always by the TV watching TV shows."

Yes, when Kuznetsov arrives at the arena, he apparently likes to watch TV before the game and said he is not in the locker room until only about 30 minutes before warmups. He enjoys watching soccer, but also likes a good movie.

"It's usually soccer games," Kuznetsov said. "If it's not the soccer game, it's whatever the movie's going."

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He went on to say he was thankful for the team subscribing to whatever channel it was that he watches movies on.

If this seems odd to you, there is a method to the madness.

"Usually it's movie because that way I'm not thinking about hockey," Kuznetsov said. "I like to be loose before games."

Hey, if that's what he was doing before Game 7 in 2015 and before Game 6 in 2018, it's hard to argue against it.

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Capitals Greatest Hits: How to watch Evgeny Kuznetsov's series-winning goal

Capitals Greatest Hits: How to watch Evgeny Kuznetsov's series-winning goal

In need of Memorial Day plans? Look no further as NBC Sports Washington presents the fifth and final edition of Capitals Greatest Hits on Monday, May 25, at 7 p.m. 

For this holiday edition of Capitals Greatest Hits, NBC Sports Washington will reair Game 7 of the 2015 Eastern Conference First Round playoff series between the Washington Capitals and the New York Islanders. 

As a special treat, Evgeny Kuznetsov, who delivered the series-winning goal for the Caps, will make a special appearance on the broadcast to talk about his Game 7 heroics from the win-or-go-home showdown.

What better way to cap off a holiday weekend than by reliving some Caps playoff glory with The Birdman himself?

How to Watch: Capitals’ Greatest Hits

Who: New York Islanders @ Washington Capitals — April 27, 2015

When: May 25 at 7 p.m.

Where: NBC Sports Washington (channel finder), stream on the NBC Sports MyTeams app

Guest: Washington Capitals star Evgeny Kuznetsov

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Broadcast Schedule

6:00 PM Capitals Greatest Hits Capitals vs Thrashers from March 21, 2008 (R)

7:00 PM Capitals Greatest Hits Capitals vs Islanders from April 27, 2015 (P)

8:00 PM 2018 Stanley Cup Championship Films: Washington Capitals (P)

10:00 PM #HockeyAtHome: The Great One & The Great Eight (R)

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