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Capitals Honoring Backstrom for 600 Career Assists
The Caps announced today that they will be honoring center Nicklas Backstrom for his 600th career assist, on Wednesday, Nov. 7, before the Pittsburgh Penguins game.
The Caps will give him a gift, as will the NHL. Let’s suppose they’ll do this every time he notches another 100 assists, meaning he’s got plenty more gifts to come.
Backstrom became the first player in Capitals franchise and the 87th player in NHL history to reach the 600 assist mark on Oct. 22 against the Vancouver Canucks. He is first in Caps history in assists, and the first player from the 2006 draft to reach the 600-assist milestone.
He does have some work to do on the all-time Swede assist list, however, as nine other very good players are ahead of him, including Nicklas Lidstrom (878), Henrik Sedin (830), Mats Sundin (785), Daniel Alfredsson (713), Daniel Sedin (648), Borje Salming (637), Peter Forsberg (636) and Henrik Zetterberg (623). That said, he became the second-fastest Swedish-born player in NHL history to reach the 600-assist plateau, behind Forsberg, who did it in a different era in only 551 games. Backstrom set up 52 different teammates on the road to 600 career assists, including 234 helpers on goals by Alex Ovechkin.
Since he entered the NHL in 2007-08, Backstrom ranks first in the NHL in assists and ranks fifth in points. He also leads the NHL in power-play assists (273) since 2007-08 and ranks second in power-play points (340), trailing Ovechkin (355). In addition, he ranks first in multi-assist games since he entered the League (141), first in three-assist games (40) and four-assist games (11).
Backstrom tallied the third-most assists in a season in Capitals history in 2009-10 (68) and has recorded five of the 10 60-assist seasons in franchise history (2008-09, 2009-10, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2016-17). In addition, he ranks first in Capitals history in 40-assist seasons (10) and 50-assist seasons (8).