Alex Ovechkin's two-goal performance against the Penguins on Wednesday night — his 1,000th and 1,001st points — made headlines, but it was Nicklas Backstrom who garnered the awards.
On Monday morning, the NHL tabbed Backstrom as their "First Star of the Week."
Backstrom began the week having just eclipsed the 500 career assists plateau, and the 29-year-old Swede showed no signs of staying put. He finished the week with three goals and seven assists in the Capitals' four wins.
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Backstrom registered a goal and an assist in the Capitals' 4-1 win over the Canadiens, a goal and three assists Wednesday against the Penguins, a goal an an assist in the blowout win against the Blackhawks and finished strong with three assists in the 5-0 Sunday shutout against the Flyers. Backstrom had a hand in 10 of the Capitals 20 goals this week.
He also finished the week with a +7 plus/minus and notched two power-play assists as well.
Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins and Brock McGinn of the Carolina Hurricanes were the No. 2 and No. 3 stars of the week, respectively.
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Defenseman Madison Bowey re-signed with the Capitals on Thursday, inking a two-year extension that will carry an average of $1 million.
Bowey carried a cap charge of $703,333 last season.
The 23-year-old appeared in 51 games for the Caps in 2017-18, amassing 12 assists, 24 penalty minutes and a plus/minus rating of minus-3.
Bowey also suited up in nine contests for AHL Hershey, though he finished the season as one of the Black Aces during Washington's run to the Stanley Cup.
With Bowey back in the fold, the Caps now have six of seven defenseman from last season’s roster under contract. (Veteran Brooks Orpik remains an unrestricted free agent.)
Bowey had an uneven first year in the NHL—he didn’t play following the late-February addition of Michal Kempny—but the Caps expect that the 6-2, 198-pound right-shot blue liner will become reliable full-time player with more seasoning.
Bowey’s deal leaves Tom Wilson as the Caps' only remaining unsigned restricted free agent. The sides are in discussions on a multi-year extension.
Including Bowey’s extension, the Caps have roughly $7.3 million in salary cap space remaining, according to www.capfriendly.com.
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In the present, the Capitals are the Stanley Cup champions. But what does the future hold?
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Who stood out at development camp? How will Pheonix Copley look as backup? Which Hershey prospects could push for a spot in the NHL? All that and more on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast.
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