Nicklas Backstrom stood on the verge of a major milestone as he entered Monday’s game against the New York Islanders. With 824 career points, Backstrom stood just one point shy of tying Peter Bondra for second among the franchise’s all-time point leaders.
Backstrom was not satisfied with just tying Bondra, however, and recorded a three-point night to give him 827 points and sole possession of second place.
“[Bondra] was a great player and great goal scorer,” Backstrom said. “I just think it’s an honor for me to be there.”
In typical Backstrom fashion, all three of his points Monday came on assists.
Backstrom set up Washington’s first goal of the game from his own blue line as he whipped a pass down the ice to a streaking Tom Wilson who fired a shot quickly after the entry to beat goalie Thomas Greiss. Backstrom provided another assist to Wilson in the third period on the power play, as from the half-wall he fed Lars Eller who hit Wilson in the slot for the one-timer.
With two goals thanks to Bakcstrom, Wilson made sure to give Backstrom props after the game.
— Tom Wilson (@tom_wilso) November 27, 2018
Backstrom would add a third assist on Alex Ovechkin’s empty-net goal that iced the 4-1 win. He now trails only Ovechkin’s 1,149 points in franchise history.
Rather than celebrating his own accomplishment, however, Backstrom gave credit to his teammates for helping him reach 827-point milestone.
“I’ve played with some really good players over the years. That has helped me a lot so a lot of credit to them too,” Backstrom said.
But reaching 827 career points is not just about having good teammates. It is the mark of a pretty darn good player.
Backstrom has spent his career playing in the shadow of Ovechkin. For that reason, his remarkable career has gone largely overlooked outside of Washington and he has become one of the most underrated players in the NHL.
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