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Backstrom's milestone assist proves the difference in narrow win over Ottawa

Backstrom's milestone assist proves the difference in narrow win over Ottawa

Nicklas Backstrom's 500th career assist set up what would be the only goal of the night in a 1-0 Capitals win over the Ottawa Senators.

How it happened: The Caps struck less than two minutes into the game as Backstrom set up T.J. Oshie with a backhand pass on the rush that he fired into the top corner of the net. Braden Holtby did the rest as he turned aside all 30 shots he faced for his second straight shutout.

What it means: Saturday’s victory extends Washington’s win streak to five games and improves the team’s record to 12-2-2 in its last 16. The Caps are 2-0-0 against Ottawa this season and 7-0-1 against the Senators in their last eight meetings.

Turning point: Clinging to a narrow 1-0 lead late in the third period, Karl Alzner took a boarding penalty after cross-checking Mark Stone head first into the boards. The penalty killers coolly killed off the minor penalty, shutting the door on Ottawa's hopes for a late comeback.

500 for Backstrom: Backstrom’s first period assist was a big one as it was assist No. 500 of his career. He is now the first player in Capitals franchise history to reach the 500 assist plateau. You can read more about the milestone here.

Scare for Oshie: Oshie took a hard shoulder-to-should hit from Ottawa defenseman Dion Phaneuf in the second period that clearly stung. You can see the hit here. Oshie slowly made his way off the ice and was doubled over on the bench before going down the tunnel to the locker room. He returned later in the period and left for the locker room again before the end of the second. Oshie missed seven games with a shoulder injury he suffered against the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 18. The Caps went 3-3-1 during that stretch. Phaneuf's hit struck Oshie on the same shoulder he had previously injured.

Unbeatable: The Capitals' penalty kill has been putting the "special" in special teams lately and that continued Saturday as they killed all three man advantages they faced on Saturday. Washington has now killed off 52 of the last 55 power plays they have faced over the last 13 games.

Nothing to worry about: Holtby had a rare off night on Tuesday as he was pulled against the Toronto Maple Leafs after giving up three goals on eight shots. In his two starts since, the Caps netminder has shutouts in both contests with 29 saves against the Columbus Blue Jackets and 30 against the Senators. Hotlby is now tied for the league lead in shutouts with five on the season.

Look ahead: Washington remains north of the border for a game in Montreal on Monday. They then return home for a murderous three-game home stretch starting Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers.

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Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

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NBC Sports Washington/USATSI

Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

After lifting the Stanley Cup just over two months ago, something else very exciting has happened in Alex Ovechkin's life.

Saturday morning, Nastya and Alex Ovechkin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei, after Ovechkin's late brother. 

Ovi spent this week practicing at the Florida Panthers' facilities with other NHL players living in the surrounding area.

After the Cup's visit to Moscow, Nastya and Alex settled down at their apartment in Miami, staying put and preparing for the birth. 

The couple were married two years ago but didn't hold an official ceremony until July of last year. The celebration was as lavish as you'd expect.

She revealed her pregnancy shortly after the Cup victory, and has kept us up to date on life this summer via Instagram. A few weeks ago, the Ovechkins graced HELLO! Russia magazine, showing off Nastya's baby bump among their glamour shots.

💛 @aleksandrovechkinofficial #hello #hellorussia @hello__ru

A post shared by Nastasiya Ovechkina (@nastyashubskaya) on

Congratulations to Ovi and Nastya, and all our best wishes for health and happiness!

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Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

Say it ain't so.

Mitchell Gibson is the first goalie the Capitals have drafted since Ilya Samsonov in 2015, but they may be thinking twice about their selection after a recent shocking interview.

Gibson spoke with a local Philadelphia CBS station and revealed that both he and his family...are Flyers fans.

Insert dramatic music.

"I think my family will always be Flyers fans in their hearts and I guess I will be a little bit," Gibson admitted, hopefully with guilt in his voice.

Gibson was selected by the Caps in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, but clearly the scouts did not do their homework. It's as if Gibson grew up a hockey fan in a place like Phoenixville, Pa. (about an hour outside of Philadelphia) without anticipating the future that he may one day be drafted by a rival team like Washington.

Shame, shame.

The young netminder tried to make up for his horrifying admission later in the interview.

"The Capitals are definitely treating me well right now so I would like to be their goalie," he said.

A likely story.

Gibson is only 19 and set to begin his first collegiate season at Harvard in 2018 so at least there is still time for Gibson to overcome his shameful past. And hey, it could always be worse. At least he's not a Penguins fan.

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