Nicklas Backstrom stood there quietly after the game. His team had just won 3-2, and the game winning goal scorer, Mike Green, was talking to the media near Backstrom’s locker–too close, in fact, for Backstrom to be able to sit down in his assigned spot amid the throng of reporters.
But the scrum around Green was a flashback to a very different time in recent Caps history, where he displayed a prowess that earned him the nickname of Game Over Green. And Backstrom was happy for his teammate’s on-ice triumph.
“Before he was injured a lot, we used to see that all the time,” he said of Green’s game-winning power play goal. “It’s great to see him score a goal. I mean, it gives him confidence, too. Huge goal for us.”
The huddle around Green verified Backstrom’s assessment–eventually, Backstrom gave up on his attempt to get back to his spot and sat down in a teammate’s stall, trying to tug his equipment bag out from the crowd of media.
Being misplaced from his locker was one of very few battles he’d lost all day. He gave a hit, took a hit, and rebounded on the same shift to score a goal. He was over 50 percent on faceoffs. And he eventually had to deal with his own crowd of media.
His team got the job done, despite defensive hiccups and coming off a triple OT loss on Wednesday. The Capitals were able to limit the Rangers’ shots on goal so that, according to the score sheet, Holtby only faced 20 shots total. The first Rangers’ goal came off an odd puck bounce–Brooks Laich was trying to block a shot near the net, when the puck bounced off him and into the lane of the Rangers’ Artem Anisimov, who showed excellent effort around the net to get the puck in on the rebound.
The second Rangers’ goal came after a miscommunication among Dennis Wideman, Jeff Schultz and Braden Holtby on a non-icing play. Wideman and Schultz were on the ice for both Rangers’ goals.