Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19), of Sweden, celebrates his goal during the first period in Game 5 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Nicklas Backstrom may be the greatest playmaker in Washington Capitals history, but the club’s all-time assists leader also knows a thing or two about goal scoring.
In February, Backstrom became the fifth player in franchise history to record 200 career goals; and by the end of the regular season, Backstrom had his third consecutive 20-goal campaign for the first time in his career.
Backstrom has also shown a knack for scoring big goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. On Saturday, he scored twice, including the game-winning goal at 11:53 of overtime, as the Capitals beat the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 5 of their first-round series.
The OT game-winning goal was Backstrom’s franchise-record fourth career postseason OT winner and gave the Capitals a 3-games-to-2 series lead over Columbus. Game 6 is Monday night at Nationwide Arena (7:30 p.m.; WFED 1500AM).
Backstrom now has six career postseason game-winning goals in any fashion (regulation or overtime), which moves him into a four-way tie for the most in team history. Peter Bondra, Jason Chimera and Alex Ovechkin also have six career postseason game-winning goals with the Capitals.
But it’s the overtime winners where Backstrom sits alone atop the franchise leader board.
Below is a look at each of Backstrom’s four career postseason overtime winners:
April 17, 2010: Round 1; Game 2 (Series Tied 1-1)
Capitals 6 — Canadiens 5 (OT)
Backstrom capped off his first career postseason hat-trick with the game-winning goal in overtime as the Capitals beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-5 in OT in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Backstrom beat Montreal’s Jaroslav Halak at 0:31 of OT as the Capitals overcame a 4-1 second-period deficit to tie their first-round series at a game apiece. Rookie John Carlson tied the game with 1:21 remaining in regulation with his first career postseason goal.
April 14, 2012: Round 1; Game 2 (Series Tied 1-1)
Capitals 2 — Bruins 1 (2OT)
Backstrom beat Tim Thomas at 2:56 of double overtime as the Capitals beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals from TD Garden.
Rookie Braden Holtby made 43 saves for his first career postseason win as the Capitals tied the first-round series at a game apiece. Washington went on to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup Champion Bruins in seven games, with all seven games decided by one goal.
April 21, 2015: Round 1; Game 4 (Series Tied 2-2)
Capitals 2 — Islanders 1 (OT)
Backstrom again victimized Jaroslav Halak in overtime, this time with Halak manning the crease for the New York Islanders. Backstrom and Ovechkin had a goal and an assist each as the Capitals beat the Islanders 2-1 in OT with Backstrom scoring at 11:09 of the extra session to even the series at two games apiece. The Capitals went on to win the series in seven games.
Backstrom established a new franchise record with his third career postseason OT winner, one clear of Dino Ciccarelli and Joe Juneau.
April 21, 2018: Round 1; Game 5 (Capitals Lead 3-2)
Capitals 4 — Blue Jackets 3 (OT)
Playing in his 101st career postseason game — one clear of Dale Hunter and Kelly Miller for the second most in franchise history — Backstrom delivered with two goals and an assist, including the OT winner as the Capitals beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in overtime.
Backstrom beat two-time Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky with the OT winner at 11:53 of the fourth period, redirecting a point shot from defenseman Dmitry Orlov. Backstrom’s game-winning goal gave the Capitals a 3-games-to-2 series lead over Columbus.
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